Kingsway rugby players to tackle Dubai Sevens Tournament

Melusi Makhanya, Matthew Russell, Sebastian Hide and Ryan Appleby have been selected to participate in the U19 international tour to the Emirates HSBC Dubai Sevens Tournament. Melusi has also been selected for the South African U18 touch rugby squad to do battle at the World Cup in Malaysia next year.

Four Kingsway High School rugby players have been selected to participate in the U19 international tour to the Emirates HSBC Dubai Sevens Tournament from 27 November to 3 December.

Grade 12 pupils Sebastian Hide and Matthew Russell, and grade 11s Ryan Appleby and Melusi Makhanya made the cut.

This is an incredible feat considering Kingsway has only started playing sevens rugby in earnest this year.

The team has had only three weeks to gel and they have already won a tournament.

The boys played at the Crawford North Coast Sevens Tournament on Friday, 11 August. Kingsway played three games and won all, beating Port Shepstone High School 17-7 and Crawford La Lucia 24-0 to progress to the final where they overcame St Henry’s 26-14.

Melusi scored six tries to help them lift the trophy.

READ ALSO: Toti touch rugby star to wing his way to Malaysian World Cup in 2018

At the weekend they competed at the Glenwood Sevens Tournament. This time they didn’t fare as well, winning only one match out of six, but Melusi shone again to dot down nine tries.

His stellar performance has earned him a call-up to the South African U18 touch rugby squad to do battle at the World Cup in Malaysia next year. “I was really surprised to be selected for the World Cup, as we didn’t play well at all,” said the 17-year-old.

What makes his selection to the SA team even more astonishing is the young player has never been selected for any KZN rugby squads.

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He started playing at the age of nine while attending Doon Heights Primary.

In normal rugby his position is fullback and his speed makes him a natural try scorer for the quicker format of the game. “I prefer sevens rugby, as it gives me more freedom to play. I wasn’t really surprised to make the SA touch squad, because I knew I would make it.”

However, before he can represent his country in Malaysia, Melusi has to raise R50,000.

He and his schoolmates have to raise R36,000 to play in Dubai. If you can help them with sponsorship, call Melusi’s mother Lulama Maphalala on 073-165-0280, Matthew’s father Bruce on 083-672-4042, Sebastian’s mother Kersha on 082-805-8188 and Ryan’s mother Daphne on 082-780-7383.

 

 

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  AUTHOR
Earl Baillache
Journalist

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