Two stars of the champion Maties Varsity Sports Sevens team have been called up by Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu to train with his squad in Stellenbosch.
Stefan de Villiers and Josh Bassingthwaighte were both key members of the Maties side that took the first Varsity Sports Sevens title, winning the tournament in Plettenberg Bay and finishing as runners-up in Margate, with a victorious USSA campaign in between.
After their convincing performances in some difficult conditions in the Varsity Sports tournaments, De Villiers and Bassingthwaighte were asked to join the Mighty Mohicans squad that played in the recent Sevens Premier League in George.
Maties Sevens coach Ian Campbell-McGeachy was appointed as assistant coach of that team, working alongside Dawie Snyman, and once the dust had settled in George he got a phonecall from Treu.
He told varsitysportssa.com: “Paul had seen them play in the Varsity Sports tournaments on television, and there were a lot of good players in George telling him to take a look at these guys.
“He gave me a call after our last game on the Saturday and then followed that up with an sms later to confirm that he wanted to take a closer look at what Stefan and Josh have to offer,” he explained.
The experienced De Villiers has spent four years in the Maties Sevens side and plays at centre for Victorians along with his solid Sevens background.
Bassingthwaighte’s story is more unlikely as he was spotted by Campbell-McGeachy playing in the Koshuis second league at Maties. Since being given his initial opportunity he has flourished, using the Varsity Sports tournaments as a springboard to the big time.
“If it was not for the Varsity Sports tournaments then these guys would not be getting this chance. It is amazing how they have just come from nowhere to now be training with the best players in the country,” said Campbell-McGeachy.