"Unknowns" force their way into UKZN Varsity Shield team

The UKZN Impi team play their opening match of the Varsity Shield against defending champions CUT Free State in Bloemfontein on Monday 27 January.

Amongst the many provincial age group players in the UKZN squad, there are also some unknown names, Nelson Makhaye and Sanele Malwane for example. Sanele is an unheralded player from Sarel Cilliers High School in northern KZN, who came though the campus league and lower league teams in Maritzburg. Nelson's story is particularly heart-warming: He is an orphan from Greytown, who made it through to the team after playing in the unknown student trials John Mitchell organised in November and December of last year.

The match will be televised from 16.30 on SuperSport.

Traveling Squad:
CLM Ngcungama (captain)
HB Boshoff
D Muir
SH van Schalkwyk
G Koegelenberg
JP Wagenaar
NZ Zondi
D Carney
CR Wright
BC Cope
HC Groenewald
GR Meikle
HJ Lategan
S Makombe
B Bailing
M Mandioma
L Mulder
AM Wessels
SG Malwane
SN Makhaye
GT Nyawata
M Ntshingila
SP Kubheka

In other exciting news, UKZN are pleased to announce that Truda Snacks, one of South Africa's largest producers and distributors maize based snacks has concluded a sponsorship agreement with the University of KwaZulu-Natal rugby team for the forthcoming Varsity Shield campaign.

The sponsorship agreement includes a number of tuition bursaries, a contribution towards training camps, transport and providing the Impi with off field clothing.

Truda is the producer of amongst others Stylos, Flyers and Spookies, chips brands which are gaining rapidly in market share.

As director Colin van Heerden explained, "Truda has had a long association with Varsity Rugby and we are delighted to sponsor the UKZN Impi. We see it is an opportunity to increase the profiles of our brands but more importantly we have an opportunity to change and enhance the lives of young men. It's also an opportunity for immense fun, which coupled with a determination to succeed comes the chance to experience excellence and to raise the profile of UKZN amongst the other great universities in our country."

Moon Lister, head of sales at Truda Snacks added: "The Impi have assembled a world class coaching team under John Mitchell and have attracted some great rugby talent. They have an exciting season ahead of them. Go the Impi."

Leon Venter, Colin van Heerden and Anathi Swartbooi all ex UKZN rugby players and Truda Snacks employees

Jos Robson