Deaf Rugby
Photo Credit: South African Deaf Rugby Association

The SA Deaf Rugby Sevens Squad are busy with their final camp before heading off to Argentina to represent South Africa next week; this is the squad.


South Africa (31 March 2023) – Earlier this month, the South African Deaf Rugby Association (SADRA), Director of Rugby, Peter de Villiers, and his coaching staff announced their squad for the International Deaf Rugby Sevens in Cordoba, Argentina for this coming week.

The 12-man squad along with Head Coach, Marlize van der Merwe, convened in Gauteng at the beginning of April before they fly to Cordoba to prepare for the tournament that will run from the 5th – 9th of April.

Currently completing their final training camp before setting off, the team has been joined by Carte Blanch who will be filming their training session and departure next week.

With Van der Merwe heading up the coaching, the senior management team travelling will be all female as Lauren Terras has recently become the first female Acting President of a SARU governing body when she recently stepped up from her role as Vice-President.

Due to a lack of funding De Villiers has announced that he will not travel with the squad but has made it clear that he has every faith that Van der Merwe can lead the side in Argentina whilst breaking new ground as a Female Head Coach in charge of a men’s rugby squad.

“Watching the progression of Marlize’s coaching path since we started working together almost a year ago has been really exciting. As a coach she has the necessary skillset to lead the squad and become one of the first women coaches to lead a men’s squad at a Rugby World Cup.”

On the reasons for not travelling to Argentina himself, De Villiers added:

“The opportunity for a Deaf rugby player to travel to Argentina to fulfil their dreams is much bigger than I am. With the funding issues we have encountered it is better that people starting out in their careers such as Marlize and these brilliant rugby players get the opportunity to do so. The seats on the plane should go to those people rather than myself. I am on call for Marlize and the squad so if they need anything from me, I am just a phone call away.”

“I am certainly not stepping away from Deaf Rugby in South Africa by any means with this decision and I can’t wait to see how this global tournament will launch our Deaf Rugby programme into an era of significant growth and development.”

“Acting President, Lauren Terras, has worked tirelessly to make this trip happen and has singled out all the sponsors that have come on board to support the South African Deaf Rugby team.”

“The support we have received from local businesses has been tremendous. Firstly, Arcelor Mittal as our associate sponsor has helped with funding whilst other companies have and still are providing us with the necessary kit to perform to the highest standards” adds Terras

“Jonsson Workwear are sponsoring all our off-field wear whilst Bananaskinz have come on-board for our compression gear. SA Rugby are supplying our match day kit and luggage, with backpacks being donated by Trinity Clothing. From the very beginning of our journey, Living Ball made sure we had balls to train with in both the Western Cape and Gauteng. We would also like to thank Hotel @Hatfield in Pretoria who have accommodated our players for our training camps,”

“With all these wonderful people and brands backing us, it’s now our time to do the job and bring home an International Deaf Sevens Rugby medal. Our hope is to make SA proud and to inspire all people living with disabilities to try their hand at sport”


  • Rodwin Beyers
  • Admar Claassen
  • Marnus Dercksen
  • Andre du Toit
  • Gerard Kroese
  • Johan Liebenberg
  • Sam Mothapo
  • Patrick Molotshwa
  • Boitshepo Motlhala
  • Nkhumbuleni Nkhumeleni
  • Leon Willemans
  • Tashriq Parker


  • Mark Barnard
  • Shani de Jager
  • Michael Els
  • Lucien Farmer
  • Riyaldean Griffies
  • Adin Pieters

Well-wishers have taken to social media to wish the team the best of luck for the upcoming tournament.

Source: South African Deaf Rugby Association
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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