Talent identification and the subsequent development of those individuals with the most potential to succeed is currently of great concern for sporting bodies in a number of countries and South Africa is no exception. Sport in South Africa holds a position of great prominence and has been used in many instances to facilitate national unity and pride. Rugby Union is one of the most prominent sports in South Africa and it is in this sport that South Africa has achieved a great measure of success, both historically and currently. It is a sport in which the future sustainability of this success is high on the agenda. There have been a number of studies on talent identification in rugby and this study aims to contribute to that body of knowledge. To achieve this contribution, this study has two primary goals and aims. This study has as its primary goals and aims: 1) to have a sound theoretical base provided by in-depth and up to date research that will form the foundation for, 2) reviewed and alternative sport and position-specific testing protocols as well as comparative results consisting of norms and scores that will adequately identify and select those capable of participating in elite age-group rugby union. Contained in the theoretical base of this study is a review of the physical parameters required to succeed in sport, a discussion of the nature vs. nurture debate and a review of the developmental approaches to talent and ability. Other factors such as psychological skills, abilities and attributes and a historical review of talent identification models and approaches world-wide as well as in South Africa have also been provided. In all, the first primary aim and goal of this study has therefore successfully been achieved. Thereafter, the reviewed and alternative test protocol has been presented, discussed and executed, followed by an analysis of the results obtained. Specific achievements of this study are that new and modified tests (3x5x22m Anaerobic capacity test, S-Test and the Kick-for-distance and accuracy test) for talent have been developed and that specific scores and norms for these new tests, as well as other pre-existing tests, have been established for future reference. In noting the success of the alternative, broad-position specific protocol and the establishment of scores and norms, the second primary goal and aim of this study can be said to be achieved. This study then ends with conclusions and further proposed recommendations. It can therefore be concluded with a great amount of certainty that this study has been successful not only in presenting as up to date research as possible in the fields of excellence and elite sport, but that furthermore, this study has provided a robust test protocol with comparative norms that can be used as an alternative identification and selection tool.