Queen’s SA U18A star to face France and England
Sesetu Mpaka’s skill, speed and power recognised
Queen’s College outside centre Sesetu Mpaka will be in the team to face France today in the international series at Paarl in the Western Cape after he made the selection for the South African Under 18A rugby team.
His next big game will be against England on Tuesday, followed by another against France next Saturday.
Queen’s College rugby head coach Clinton Löest said this was a path that could lead to higher honours for a player to be recognised at varsity cups or at provincial unions or to be offered a contract with the Springbok team.
“It is an absolute honour for Mpaka to have been selected, to the school and the head coach, it makes me very proud. There have been other coaches that have played a part in Mpaka’s career and they must also be credited for the hard work put in at junior levels, with him now being identified as a player selected for an SA team.
”Mpaka told me that he is very proud of being selected for this team and wants to give his best.”
Löest said scouts had watched the players in their first teams throughout the year when the boys were selected for the provincial Craven or Academy weeks and the final selection for the SA U18 team.
The coach believes the SA U18A rugby team is part of an alignment for the Springboks, and players who performed in the competition would be identified and fast-tracked to junior Springbok level.
He said Mpaka also played inside centre.
“Mpaka’s strength is his explosive speed and power, coupled with his skill and understanding of the outside centre position on defence, on which he worked hard this year, his understanding of the wings on the outside and how to defend the outer channels. Ball carrying is also his strength.”
This means he will miss the Queen’s derby against Dale College as the final school game.
However, Löest said the young star had an outstanding game against Cambridge last week when they won 99-10.
To cover his position in the derby, inside centre Lwanele Gaba has moved to outside centre and Onke Ntontela from the second team will take on jersey 12.