SA Rugby President Oregan Hoskins on Wednesday extended his condolences to the family and team-mates of Valke Coca-Cola Youth Week lock Jean-Jireh Yamwimbi, who passed away on Tuesday night.
Yamwimbi, a 17-year old Rhodesfield Technical High School pupil, participated in the Under-16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week in Oudtshoorn last year and was named in the union’s Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week team for the tournament at Kearsney College in Durban next week.
“On behalf of SA Rugby I would like to extend sincere condolences to Jean-Jireh’s family and to his team-mates who were preparing to travel to the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week with him,” said Mr Hoskins. “This is a very sad day for South African rugby.
“We are halfway through the SA Rugby Youth Weeks, which is a time in which we celebrate the youth who share a deep passion for the game, and a week in which they have the opportunity to showcase their talent against the best players from other provinces, and instead we are mourning the passing of a player who had so much to offer.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Jean-Jireh’s family, friends and his Valke team-mates at this very sad time.”
According to the Craven Week coach of the Valke, Mr van der Merwe, Jean-Jireh left the field in a match for his school, Rhodesfield, due to concussion. Jean-Jireh missed five weeks of action. He only played in the second half of the Noorde Bondedag. He did complain of headaches during the training camp and also did not take part in any contact during this camp. Jean-Jireh died due to brain haemorrhage.
As a sign of respect to Yamwimbi, the Valke will not replace the player in their traveling group, and will have a squad of only 22 players at the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week.