Boishaai’s Reyneke off to the Sharks
The Paarl Boys’ High loosehead prop, Abraham Reyneke, is off to the Sharks in 2021. He is expected to be there for two years.
As is the case with all of South Africa’s schoolboy players, it has been a most disappointing year with virtually no rugby because of the coronavirus and the sport-less lockdown it has caused. This has hit the schoolboys who are finishing in 2020 especially hard, particularly those with Craven Week aspirations.
There is some faint hope that there will be some schoolboy rugby in the spring.
Despite this handicap, Reyneke has been snapped up by the Sharks. In 2015 the farm boy from the Northern Cape played for the Leopards at Hoërskool Rob Ferreira in White River. In 2018, down at Paarl Boys’ High, he played for Western Province at the Grant Khomo Week hosted by Hoërskool Diamantveld in Kimberley.
Last year, an Under-17 player, he did not make the Western Province side at Craven Week or either of the Academy Week sides. But then Paarl Boys’ High had an exceptionally strong front row in 2019, including Rhynhardt Rijnsburger, the South African Schools loosehead.
In this bizarre year, Paarl Boys’ High have played only one match – against the Witbulle of Hoërskool Monument, a match won 17-10 by boys’ High at the Bulfees at Hoërskool Porterville in the middle of March.
On his move to the Sharks, Reyneke said: “I am very fortunate and truly thankful for the opportunity which the Sharks are giving me
“It’s a privilege for me to have secured a place at a union next year. I am one of only a few guys who have been drafted by a provincial union.
“My heart goes out to the Under-19 players this year. We can’t play rugby, which means they simply don’t have the opportunity to prove themselves.”
Reyneke has spent lockdown keeping fit and working on the family farm in the Tosca district near Vryburg. He and his mother survived the crash near Delarayville on 31 May 2015 that killed his father, rally driver Apie Reyneke, who was pilotting the helicopter. His mother was seriously injured, her son less to. They were both taken to hospital in Pretoria. He recovered well enough to play at the Under-13 Craven Week just over a month later.
He said of lockdown: “I’ve really enjoyed the lockdown, farming with my bothers. I was fortunate that I could keep training on the farm throughout the lockdown. I did fitness and endurance sessions in the morning, and strength and weight training in the evenings. During day, we farmed.”
He also said, sadly: “I think my dad would have been proud of me and it would have been great to have him around to share this moment with me.”