Kade Wolhuter of Western Province in action at Grey College in Bloemfontein, on July 6 2019. File photo: GALLO IMAGES/CARL FOURIE
Kade Wolhuter of Western Province in action at Grey College in Bloemfontein, on July 6 2019. File photo: GALLO IMAGES/CARL FOURIE

He was named player of the tournament at the recent Craven Week, so it comes as a bit of a shock to see Kade Wolhuter’s name missing from the SA Schools team set to contest the five-nation Under-18 International Series in the Boland in August.   

The only possible reason for the 18-year-old Western Province player’s omission is that he has signed a three-year contract with French club Montpellier where he moves to at the end of 2019.  

“I’ve decided to join a club where I can gain experience,” said Wolhuter. “It was an offer I couldn’t refuse, one I feel I can go forward with. I wasn’t offered anything from my home union after they made an approach that led to nothing, but that’s not to say I won’t be returning home once my contract expires.

"Am I considering applying for French citizenship which would mean possibly playing for the national team? No. A  five-year waiting period for that scenario to play out isn’t something I’m contemplating. All I want to do over the next few years is ply my trade at a club that boasts world-class flyhalves who I admire.”

Wolhuter is from KwaZulu-Natal and one of triplets — he has two sisters — is referencing Springbok flyhalf Handré Pollard and forgotten Bok Johan Goosen, as well as New Zealand international Aaron Cruden.

“I can’t wait to get over there and start learning from guys I look up to. I have a lot to learn and I am excited at what lies ahead,” he said. “I feel my game has come on nicely these past couple of years since switching from fullback to flyhalf, but I know there are areas of my game that need improving and Montpellier is the place for me to grow and become a better all-round player.”

Wolhuter showed at Craven Week that he is a cut above other under-18 players in the country with his reading of the game and option-taking. He is balanced, has a turn of pace, a good pass and anticipates. He is the full package. And his kicks out of hand and goal-kicking prowess signal a bright future for the Paul Roos Grade 12 pupil.

“He’s a special talent who can go on to play at the highest level,” said WP Craven Week assistant coach Clint van Rensburg. “Here we have a playmaker who seems to have all the required skills one wants from a pivot.

“He scored tries, created plenty for those around him with his vision for putting players into space be it with short and long passes and his kicks out of hand and at the posts are up there with the best of them.”

SA referee Jonathan Kaplan has blown the whistle in 246 school matches and holds the view that the youngster is the brightest talent at this level since Grey College’s Goosen burst on to the scene at Craven Week in 2010 in the colours of Free State.

“He seems to make all the right decisions, makes it all look too easy, so for sure is headed for the big stage in the next five years or so,” Kaplan said.

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