Quintin van Jaarsveld
Paddock Polocrosse Club duo Kenan Classen and Jens Bunge have been selected for the South African Under-21 squad for the upcoming Test series against Ireland.
Classen will make his debut for the national Under-21 side, which include Caley Higgs, Paula MacLarty, Tayla Mansfield, Chelsea McDonald, Brian Cooper, Chad von Benecke and Josh le Roux, while Bunge has been named as a reserve.
The talented South African side will host the Irish Under-21s in a three-Test series in Mooi River on 30 March and 1 April.
Both locals are staples in the junior national set-up.
Classen was a member of the South African Under-19 team who completed a clean sweep over Zambia last year, and previously played for the national Under-14 and Under-16 sides.
“I consider it a great honour and privilege to be selected to represent South Africa against the Irish Under-21 international side,” he told eHowzit.
Classen’s passion and dedication form as crucial a part of his blossoming career as his natural ability.
“I spend most days getting my horses fit and I do physical training daily. I also receive monthly coaching to improve my game from SA coach, Bruce MacLarty,” he explained.
At just 17 years of age, he’s aware he’s in for a whole new ball game at Under-21 level and says he relishes the challenge.
“The pressure is much greater since it is an official full-colours Protea Under-21 Test Series.”
Bunge also featured for the national Under-14 team and was a key member of the South African Under-16 side over the past two years.
At just 16, he stands to benefit from being in the wider national Under-21 squad.
“It is a good team and I’m glad to be reserve for them. If I get to play, that would be a bonus,” Bunge told eHowzit.
“The series should be good. I feel very confident that we have a good chance to win,” he added.
Photos by Rochelle Thornhill Photography