27 Nov

Hillcrest High School’s class of 2016 student achiever, Nikolai Klewinghaus, continues to shine on the rugby field, this time on the world stage and has made his debut for the German National Rugby Team.

In October 2016, Nikolai was invited to play two Bundesliga (German 1st Division) games for SC Neuenheim in Heidelberg. The invitation from the club was arranged by the German national coach, Kobus Potgieter.  After the two games, the club expressed interest in Nikolai and requested that he return for the 2nd half of the Bundesliga season in February 2017. Nikolai was also invited to attend the German U20 training camps in January, February and March 2017 and was selected for the U20 side to play in the Rugby Europe U20 Championships that were held in Bucharest, Romania. This competition featured the teams from Spain, Switzerland, Romania, Belgium, Portugal, Netherlands, Russia and Germany. This is the 2nd tier of European rugby, the first tier being the Six Nations. Unfortunately, one week before the U20 Championships, Nikolai was injured in a club game, sustaining torn ligaments in his right ankle that side-lined him for 8 weeks. However, in May and June 2017, Nikolai was able to play Bundesliga games for his club and attended training sessions with the German 7’s team and played for a German 7’s development side in Tours, France.

Nikolai was then invited to become part of the Wild Titans squad as a development player. This squad consists primarily of German national team players. This team is competing in the European Continental Shield, a 3rd tier European club competition. The main idea is to expose the German national team players to a higher level of rugby than they are used to in the Bundesliga. Here they will play against top club sides from Rumania, Georgia, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Training at the Wild Rugby Academy commenced in mid-July, with daily training sessions, except Wednesdays. The daily training is broken down into gym sessions and various field sessions that run from 9h00 to 16h00.

In October of this year, Nikolai was selected for the Wild Titans side to play in the first two games of the Continental Shield – they played against Pataro Rugby Calvisano team from Italy in Heidelberg against RC Batumi team from Georgia in Georgia.

This month, Nikolai was selected to play for Germany against Brazil in a friendly in Leipzig. Nikolai scored a try on his debut, with Germany winning 45 – 12. He also joined the team in playing more international friendlies vs U.S.A. and Chile.

The Continental Shield will continue with two games in December, one in Heidelberg against an Italian club and another game in Lisbon, Portugal.

Nikolai’s proud mother Lesley Ann added: ̋None of the above would have been possible without the input of Dusty Noble and his coaching team at Hillcrest High School in the years 2014 to 2016. The coaching Nikolai received during this time was fundamental to what he has achieved during 2017“.

What an incredible journey Nikolai! Congratulations on all your well-earned achievements. Your Hillcrest High school family is so thrilled for you.

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