Scottsville’s Waylin Booysen, 16, was impressive with ball in hand and captained the Western Province XV rugby side, at the under-16 Grant Khomo Week, held at Paarl Gymnasium a fortnight ago.
Waylin, a Grade 11 pupil at Brackenfell High School, led from the front, helping his side remain unbeaten, at the competition.
They started their campaign with a narrow 13-12 victory against the Griffons and followed up with a 34-14 and 25-19 wins over the Free State and Griquas, respectively. The youngster made the side after going for three-rounds of trials, at City Park, in Athlone and at Bellville High School, in April.
The former Eikendal Primary School pupil was among 44 players who got selected to play in the competition. The boys in blue and white had two sides at the tournament, namely Western Province and the WP XV.
The full-back said he enjoyed and made the most of the one-week competition.
“It was a new experience for me as it was my first time representing and leading out the province side. I was surprised when I heard I will captain the side but made the most of the opportunity.
“With regards to my performance, I did well but there were a few errors I made in the first match that I needed to fix,” he said.
Waylin said the message he gave to his side was to give their best and to make the most of the opportunity.
“We achieved our goal of making the WP team so we needed to prove to ourselves that we can perform at the highest level. There were more than 100 players who tried out at the trials,” he said.
The lanky player also played a role in his school’s under-16 side, when they hosted this year’s junior rugby festival, last week.
Brackenfell finished the competition with a perfect record after winning both their matches, beating Swartland 18-5 and Humansdorp 22-5.
Waylin is nspired by former Stormers full-back, Gio Aplon, who plays in the French Top 14 League for FC Grenoble Rugby.
“He is one of the smallest on the field but has a big heart and knows how to use his talent wisely. He is always humble and shows what we can do on the park,” said Waylin, who started playing rugby in Grade 7.
“I use to go watch my older brother Wayne play rugby. He was always aggressive on the field and that’s when I decided to play rugby,” he said.
Waylin has also proved to be a multi-talented sportsperson who is also good in athletics among others. When he is not playing rugby, the youngster is making his mark in track and field events. He has represented the Western Cape Schools’ team at the nationals for the past two consecutive years.
This year the youngster came fourth in the boys’ under-17s triple jump, at the South African school’s championships, in Johannesburg. Last year he came third in the boys’ under-15, 300m hurdles, long jump and relay at the same competition, in Bloemfontein.
His father, Tamboer, said his son has developed well in the short space of time that he has been playing rugby.
“I am proud of what he has achieved thus far. He is a hard worker and committed player. If he can continue his great form I believe he can represent the Western Province senior side,” he said.