SA Rugby president Oregan Hoskins extended his condolences to the family and teammates of U18 Valke lock Jean-Jireh Yamwimbi, who died on Tuesday.
The 17-year-old passed away from bleeding on the brain, apparently due to a concussion in a schools game for Rhodesfield Technical High School earlier this year.
Yamwimbi, who featured for the Valke at the U16 Grant Khomo Week in Oudtshoorn last year, was set to turn out for the union at the U18 Craven Week 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 teammates who were preparing to travel to the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week with him,’ Hoskins said. “This is a very sad day for South African rugby. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jean-Jireh’s family, friends and his Valke teammates at this very sad time.’
Valke coach Oupa van der Merwe said Yamwimbi had not played for his school or the Valke for five weeks, before playing his first game for them against the Pumas last month.
‘He sat in his tracksuit and watched us play against the Griffons, but we used him in the second half against the Pumas at Bondedag [on 25 June],’ Van der Merwe told Netwerk24. ‘He complained about headaches during our training camp, but we didn’t have many contact sessions, and he sat out the contact sessions we did have because of a slight shoulder injury.’
Out of respect to Yamwimbi, the Valke will not replace him, and will head to Craven Week with a squad of only 22 players.
Photo: Gallo Images