Former Hammies junior rugby player, Lamla Megedezi has all eyes on him in the Free State.
The 10-year-old earned a full scholarship to the prestigious Grey College in Bloemfontein at the end of the 2018 rugby season.
Lamla, in Grade 6, started his rugby career at Hamilton junior rugby club, under the watchful eye of coach Adrian Kaye. It was his exploits on the junior rugby scene that caught the eye of Grey College.
He was eight years old when scouts for the school scooped him up before any of the other top playing schools could get a glimpse of his talent.
Grey College is renowned for producing top rugby talents in the country including Ruan Pienaar, Francois Steyn and CJ van der Linde.
Lamla played two seasons at Hamilton juniors and his coaches at the club say his record is the stuff of legends.
They call his talent and dedication second to none in his age group.
During the two seasons he managed to score a record number of 54 tries, including a hatrick when his team took on SACS under-9A in 2017. That led to him being awarded the Hamilton mini-rugby player of the year award in 2017, followed by the under-10 player of the year award in 2018.
Kaye says Lamla is a natural with the ball in his hands and his discipline and character will lead him to a Bok jersey in about 10 years time.
“He was still in Grade 3 when he joined us and right there we knew he was a special talent and the way he expresses himself in the field we could see this boy has a bright future ahead of him.
“We obviously had to teach him the technical side of rugby and he listens well and mentally he is very strong and likes to challenge himself; for a kid in that age to show such character can only yield positive results.
“It can’t be easy for a boy so young to have such a drastic change in his life, different school in a different province, different language and culture but he has a family that is very supportive.
“As coaches we can only do so much, family support is the key to the development of your players.
“We are very proud to have played a role which led to his life-changing route.”
Kaye compares Lamla’s tremendous flair and skill to that of Springbok scrum-half Herschel Jantjies who took the rugby world by a storm when he debuted for the boks before the 2019 rugby world cup.
Lamla’sfatherMichael Megedezi says he is grateful to Hamilton for giving Lamla the platform and opportunity to chase his dreams.
“I was a soccer player so it was surprising that my son became so good at rugby,” said Megedezi.
“All thanks to Hamilton for giving Lamla the chance to play. Now I don’t have to worry about giving him proper schooling. I am very proud.”
This season, Lamla continues to receive outstanding reviews at Grey College in their under-11A rugby side.
Despite his father having never played rugby, it seems Lamla is already creating a rugby culture in his family as his brother MZ is following in his footsteps and is part of the Hamilton under-8 squad.