Leinster schoolboys make the most of gap year in South Africa

Thu, Feb 26, 2009 5:29 PM

Ten Leinster schoolboys are currently taking advantage of their school transition years by residing in South Africa where they will spend time in schools playing cricket at a very competitive level.

The Leinster Union has over the past six years assisted young cricketers to find appropriate schooling arrangements at various venues around South Africa. The experience gained is invaluable with most returning as better cricketers after having experienced first-hand South African culture and their love of sport.

Jordan Coghlan made his debut for Muir College 1st X1 in their game against St Andrews College in Grahamstown several weeks ago. Barry McCarthy scored 40 in his first outing against local rivals Daniel Pienaar, while last weekend Hugh McDonald scored 50 against Woodridge school.

The playing format in the Eastern Cape breeds tough cricketers (9 am start, 20 overs from 4.30 pm) and it should not be long before players like Jon Smuts, Kelly Smuts (Graeme College), James Price, Paul Hofman (St Andrew's College), Ross Haynes and Sisanda Magala (Muir College) make their mark in the professional ranks.

Current Ireland 'A' players Andrew Balbirnie and George Dockrell have spent time at Muir College and it is hoped that the current crop of players spending time there can follow in their footsteps and gain higher honours in the years to come.

Below are a list of players and their schools:

Wian Verwoerd & David Watkins – Wynburg School, Cape Town

Barry McCarthy, Hugh McDonnell & Jordan Coghlan – Muir College, Uitenhague, Eastern Cape

Ruairi Kelly & Tom Kinsley – St Alban's College, Pretoria

Matthew Brennan, Ryan Sheedy & Robert Farrington – Kearsney College, Durban

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