The KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union and The Sharks are proud to be associated with, and to assist in the development of Rugby in KZN.


Imiphumela Ngele Development


The 18th annual Talent ID Festival was held from the 25th to 27th September 2013 in Pietermaritzburg and hosted at Woodburn Stadium. The festival has been re-named, the MARK GODEFROY/KZNRU TALENT ID FESTIVAL, after Mark Godefroy, a keen rugby enthusiast who bequeathed part of his estate to the development of the game in KZN. The entire KZN Development community is eternally grateful for this generous act and hence have decided to re-name this prestigious festival after him. As part of the legacy we hope to create for him, the funds have been placed in a trust, the proceeds of which will be used to place a talented player, chosen from this festival, into the Sharks Academy on a bursary.


In each of the five rugby sub-unions (Durban, Midlands, Zululand, Northern KZN and Southern KZN), 60 players ie 20 x U12, 20 x U15 and 20 x U17 boys, were selected to represent each region. A total of 300 players attended the festival, together with 45 coaches and managers. We also had four visiting teams, Alfred Nzo District U12 & U15 (Matatiele, Mt Frere Area) and Ithembelihle (New Brighton, Port Elizabeth) and the Zimbabwe Development Foundation (U15), joining us for the festival.


This festival is the culmination of the hard work put in over the course of the year and is used to identify the best available talent from the previously disadvantaged communities and to then take them through a process of preparation for Craven Week, Academy U18 Week and Grant Khomo trials next year. Glenwood Prep, Westville Senior Primary, Richardia, Glenwood High School, Westville High School, Northwood, George Campbell, Clifton and development provided us with selectors/scouts to select the provincial squads of 30 players in each age group. Some of the boys selected will undoubtedly be offered bursaries/scholarships to these schools. The success of this part of the development program is evident in the fact that 21 high school players (5 in the U18 Craven Week Team, which included Ntokozo Vidima (Glenwood) who was player of the tournament at last years' festival 3 in the U18 Academy week team, 4 in the U18 Academy Week Country Districts Team, 6 in the U18 Academy Week KZN XV Team and 3 in the U16 Grant Khomo Team) and 11 primary school players (4 in the U13 Craven week Team, 2 in the U13B Team and 4 in the U12 Team who played in last years' Talent ID Festival) that were/are part of the development process were selected for the various KZN Schools' teams this year.


The standout teams/players this year were :
U12 - Best Forward - Siyanda Sithole (Durban)
Best Back - Luyanda Mazeka (Midlands)
Team of the Festival - Midlands
U15 - Best Forward - Nthuthuko Mchunu (Midlands)
Best Back - Andile Ncane (Southern KZN)
Team of the Festival - Midlands
U17 - Best Forward - Musa Mdakane (Northern KZN)
Best Back - Cebo Nxumalo (Zululand)
Team of the Festival - Zululand


The Provincial squads selected are :


U12 - Asive Mazingisia (SKZN), Dumisani Nxumalo (Dbn), Wongalutho Nqakula (SKZN), Qiniso Mbatha (dbn), Sibusiso Pinkney (MD), Siyanda Sithole (Dbn), Anele Banda (MD), Luyanda Mazeka (MD), Skethelo Mthembu (Dbn), Xolani Zondo (Dbn), Ntshikelelo Ngcobo (Dbn), Lonithemba Sokhela (MD), Mnqobi Gumede (Zulu), Siyabonga Mzolo (Zulu), Wandile Hlope (Zulu), Bravo Shangase (Zulu), Banele Nkosi (NKZN), Thabiso Hlangabizo (SKZN), Samekeliso Sithole (NKZN), Timone Jones (SKZN), Jabulani Khanyile (NKZN), Thamsanqa Thutshumi (SKZN), Anele Nzimande (MD), Sfundo Ndlovu (MD), Menzi Sikholiwe (SKZN), Zamakhle Zulu (MD), Mthokozisi Zakuza (SKZN), Brad Reddy (Zulu), Lungelo Xaba (Zulu), Nkosinathi Ndebele (Dbn)



U15 - Siyabonga Ndluli (Zulu), Kwanele Chonco (MD), Lwazi Sangweni (Zulu), Bongakonke Dludla (Zulu), Nathi Cele (Zulu), Thabani Khanyayo (MD), Malusi Nyawo (Dbn), Ntutuko Mchunu (MD), Lethu Makhanya (Zulu), Thabiso Mthiyane (Zulu), Philani Mhlongo (Zulu), Andile Ncane (SKZN), Muzi Mazibuko (Zulu), Kwanele Magwaza (MD), Kwanele Ngwenya (Zulu), Siyanda Malinga (Dbn), Sanele Zulu (Zulu), Thabiso Shezi (Dbn), Nhlakanipho Majola (MD), Ntobeka Ndlela (MD), Mbhobiki Qwabe (NKZN), Andile Shabane (SKZN), Mpumelelo Mthalane (Zulu), Mthobiso Xolo (SKZN), Lwazi Mlotshwa (SKZN), Vuyani Somabele (MD), Siphesihle Lembede (MD), Sabelo Mkhize (SKZN), Mluleko Zulu (SKZN), Thobani Zulu (Zulu)



U17 - Musa Mdakane (NKZN), Langelihle Biyase (Dbn), Muzomuhle Ncanana (Dbn), Simphiwe Magubane (NKZN), Khauhelo Maine (Zulu), Philani Ndlovu (NKZN), Lunga Madlala (SKZN), Darrin Coetzee (Dbn), Ncebo Zulu (Dbn), Mnqobi Madiba (MD), Cebo Nxumalo (Zulu), LeJuan Poyo (SKZN), Sphesihle Mtungwa (MD), Thozani Nxumalo (SKZN), Khulani Mhlongo (Zulu), Nhlakanipho Bhungane (MD), Ntokozo Khomo (Zulu), Sabelo Jiyane (MD), Halaksani Ndwandwe (MD), Thabiso Zuma (Zulu), Khulakahle Radebe (Zulu), Xolani Hadebe (Dbn), Msizi Makhathini (Zulu), Thabiso Mntambo (NKZN), Thando Khawula (Zulu), Wiseman Nxumalo (Zulu), Sphephelo Mabuza (Zulu), Fanelesfunge Mkhize (NKZN), Kwanele Sokhele (SKZN), Ngosingiphile Goldsworth (NKZN)



The referees at the festival were selected and appointed by SARU and the KZN Referees Society.


A festival like this cannot take place without the support of sponsors. The main sponsors of this festival were : KZNRU, The KZN Department of Sports and Recreation, uMgungundlovu District Municipality, Clover, Spur, SA Rugby, Gem Sport, Discovery, Bluff Meat Supply, and Ron's Sports.


A special word of thanks as well to the Midlands Rugby Sub-Union for making their excellent facilities available to us.


The 19th version of this festival is due to hosted in the Northern KZN sub-union next year.


The KZNRU U15 IQHAWE team participated in the SA Rugby Legends/SARU IQHAWE U15 week in Cape Town. This team was selected from the KZNRU/SARU/Department of Sport and Recreation Hotspot Project and included players from some of the smaller Model C schools. Due to the late confirmation of the tournament going ahead, trials were held very late, resulting in little time available to adequately prepare the team. The team selected was: Lungelo Luthuli (Mandlakazulu), Gift Cele (Umlazi ComTech), Lungelo Xulu (Parkhill), Nhlalenhle Cele (Kenmont), Mpumulelo Vadima (Sithengile), Wesley Gumede (J.G. Zuma), Samkelo Madlala (Makhanda), Thabiso Kunene (Tholokuhle), Wayne Ngubane (George Campbell), Thobani Ngwenya (George Campbell), Anele Nxumalo (Vryheid Landbou), Kaela Kabwe (Old Mill), Devan Palmer (George Campbell), Lwazi Mabaso (Durban Academy), Mthokozisi Mtshali (Harvest), Zwelisha Mnguni (Mtubatuba), Sphelele Myeza (Sunnydale), Gcina Mngomezulu (Gwejobomvu), Njabulo Nkosi (Harvest), Siyabonga Magwaza (Mandlakazulu), Lucky Ndlovu (Mpophomeni), Daniel Ngonyama (Eshowe), Mthandeni Gumede (Ohlange), Mfanelo Ntobela (Makhanda) and Abongile Buthelezi (Vryheid Landbou). The team was coached by Trompie Nontshinga and Ntando Manyosha and managed by Phumezo Ndzekeni. Though, as stated previously, we had little time to prepare the team, they performed quite admirably. Their results were as follows : Lost 19 -10 to South Western Districts, lost 10 - 7 to Eastern Province and won 10 - 5 against Border. Two of the boys were selected for the IQHAWE U15 ALL STARS team. They are Nhlalenhle Cele and Wayne Ngubane.


Quentin Reynolds (Manager: Rugby Development)


Takent TD Festival - 2013

The Festival has been renamed as the Mark Godefroy/KZNRU Talent ID Festival after the late Mark Godefroy who bequeathed over R1,000.000 in his will to the KZNRU for the Development of rugby in the province. The money has been placed in a Trust and the proceeds generated from the interest will be utilised to offer a bursary to a talented player from the previously disadvantaged communities to attend The Sharks Academy.

The 18th Annual Talent ID Festival will be held from the 25th to 27th September in Pietermaritzburg and hosted at Woodburn Stadium, Pietermaritzburg.

This festival is used to identify the best available talent from the previously disadvantaged communities. This year we had 38 players chosen for the various KZN Schools’ teams that came through this process. The highlight of this was the U17 forward of the festival last year, Ntokozo Vidima, who was offered a bursary to Glenwood High School and was selected for the Craven Week team. These players are either still in development schools or are in Ex-Model C/Private schools on full bursaries. The tournament is not only used to identify players but referees, coaches and managers as well. Players who have progressed through this festival are Cedric Mkhize (Super 14), Jody Jenneker (Super 14), Melusi ‘Barra’ Mthethwa (Currie Cup), Thabane Sangweni (Vodacom Cup), Menzi Ngidi (Sharks Under 19 and 21) and Sizwe Zondo (Sharks Under 19, 21 and Vodacom Cup), to name but a few. Many others are thriving in the club scene and the various academies as well.

The process to get to this final provincial tournament involves the five sub-unions, which incorporates all the district municipalities, who hold trials to select the best U12, U15 and U17 players from only historically disadvantaged communities/schools. This includes areas like Munster, Ixopo, Kokstad, Harding, Gamalakhe, Umlazi, KwaMashu, Umbumbulu, Kwadakuza, Clermont, Wentworth, KwaMakutha, Ezikhaweni, Kwadlangezwa, Stanger, Mandini, Ulundi, Pongola, Hluhluwe, Matabatuba, Vryheid, Dundee, Osizweni, Madadeni, Mafusini, Bergville and other rural communities. Around 500 players and 40 coaches and managers in each sub-union, are involved in this process, except Ethekwini/Illembe, where around 1 400 players and officials are involved. Total number of players and officials involved in the trials/selection process is thus around 3 600 players and officials. In each sub-union, 60 players ie 20 U12, 20 U15 and 20 U17 boys, are selected to represent the region. A total of 300 players attend the final tournament, together with 45 coaches and managers.

We also invite three extra teams, one in each age group, to participate. This year we will have Alfred Nzo District U12 and U15 (Matatiele, Mt Frere Area) and Itembelihle U17 (New Brighton, Port Elizabeth), joining us for the festival. We have also acceded to a late request from the Zimbabwean Rugby Development Foundation to include their U17 team in the festival.

Three provincial squads (U12, U15 & U17) are selected by neutral selectors from the Ex-Model C and Private Schools who also use the opportunity to scout for their respective institutions. These schools offer bursaries and scholarships to their institutions. At present, there are approximately 90 boys on scholarships at various schools throughout the province.

SA Rugby usually send a panel of referees to officiate at the festival, demonstrating the importance of the festival to the transformation process. However, this year, they will send an Assessor to assess the 10 referees who are based here in KZN.

The festival is supported by the following: KZN Department of Sport and Recreation fund all accommodation, transport and certain meals for all the participants and technical officials. KZN Rugby Union staff are accommodated by KZN Rugby Union, who also fund the trials and selection processes. Clover SA (All juices, tournament costs, branding, fields and facilities), Spur (all lunches and costs for teams from outside the province), SA Rugby Union (tournament costs, accommodation for visiting teams and some meals, administrative costs and referees’ travel and accommodation costs), Gem Schoolwear (all players’ t-shirts, shorts and socks and officials’ golf-shirts and jackets) and Discovery Health (Event Medics and ambulances), Officials dinner – meat supplied by Bluff Meat Supply.

Without the support of these sponsors, a festival of this nature would not be possible. Quentin Reynolds – KZNRU Manager of Development




Development in Historically Disadvantaged Communities

The KZN Rugby Union has, over the past 13 years, been running a development program in all the previously disadvantaged communities throughout KZN. The areas that have been accessed include, amongst others, Umlazi, KwaMashu, Chatsworth, Phoenix, Greenwood Park, Wentworth, Sydenham, Gamalakhe, Kokstad, Umzimkulu, Edendale, Bruntville, Wembezi, Madadeni, Bergville, Mafusini, Ulundi, Ezikhaweni, KwaDlangezwa, Pongola etc. The KZN Rugby Union has very strong links with Government and has formed partnerships with local, district and provincial government departments over the past 8 years.

There are now over 500 schools and 26 clubs in communities across KwaZulu Natal. Also over the past few years, relationships have been developed between the Sharks Academy, International Countries like England, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and Wales in order to assist with further developing players and coaches for the Sharks under 19, 21 and Senior teams. Over the past 5 years, at least 70 Black players have been sent to the countries listed above for development purposes, and at least 1/3rd of players in the Sharks Academy are Black of which at least 30% are from historically disadvantaged communities.

We have also established rugby houses for 14 Black players, who we want to fast track every year for the Sharks Senior squads. More information is available on the latter information on request. Some of the successes from the Sharks Rugby House are Cedric Mkhize, JP Pietersen, Dusty Noble, Sangoni Mxoli, Jody Jenneker, Nikolai Blignaut, etc.

Over the past two years, it has become increasingly apparent that there is a need to begin working according to the regions and district Municipality boundaries. This would facilitate the creation of district and local municipality teams for the Kwanaloga Games and SA Games, and improve the level of talent identification throughout KZN. In order to achieve that, more staff would definitely be required to ensure that all rural and smaller municipalities are included. At present the KZN Rugby Union has one person in the Zululand region, one in the Ethekwini Region, one in the Port Shepstone Region, one in the Lammergeyer Region and one in the Pietermaritzburg Region.

Talent ID Programmes

Our premier talent identification tournament for under 12, 15 and 17 rugby players, has been held every year since 1997 in late August or early September. These are only players from historically disadvantaged schools and communities. In the past, the tournament was set between the 5 rugby sub-unions and consisted of 300 players and 45 managers and coaches, together with visiting teams like Alfred Nzo (Transkei) and iTembelihle (Eastern Cape).

There are 11 districts in KZN in total. Areas that we work with in the districts are for example, Umlazi, Chatsworth, KwaMashu and Wentworth etc (Ethekwini District), Edendale, Imbali, Woodlands, Bruntville, Richmond and Northdale etc (Umgungungdlovu District), Gamalakhe, Munster, Harding, Nqabeni etc (Ugu District), Ezikhaweni, Wembezi, Nquthu, Ulundi, Kwadlangezwa, Madadeni, Osizweni, Ezakheni etc.

60 Players from each sub-union then attend the final trials to select the provincial squads of 30 in each age group. These players are then coached and worked with as academy squads to prepare them for Craven Week and Grant Khomo Week trials the following year. After the top players are selected, the Under 15 and Under 17 players are put through camps where they learn about proper diets, have lectures on relevant topics and also attend gym sessions, where they learn how to train properly.

There are usually about six to eight camps in the next six to nine months after the Talent ID Tournament to prepare the boys for other tournaments such as the Grey College Festival in Bloemfontein.

Bursaries for top players

The third part of this tournament is with the placement of our top Black players in ex-Model C and Private schools. These are our elite players coming out of the disadvantaged communities. The players need additional programs and projects, to lift their playing skill levels to that of their counterparts in the advantaged areas, so placing them there assists us.


Name: Francois Steyn
Age: 26
Height: 1.91m
Weight: 106kg
Position: Centre

Having played his early rugby with the Cell C Sharks before heading to play in France, he returned to Durban and played a starring role in their Absa Currie Cup Final victory over Western Province. A big, strong centre with a massive boot, capable of converting from the halfway line and further, he is an outstanding talent who has played over 50 times for his country, including the successful 2007 Rugby World Cup.

The Shark Cage

Link to Sharkie Website


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