SA’s top rugby schools lock horns this weekend

The Sharks and The Sharks Academy will award three bursaries comprising a contract with The Sharks Academy and tuition bursary with one of its …

The Sharks and The Sharks Academy will award three bursaries comprising a contract with The Sharks Academy and tuition bursary with one of its academic partners.

KEARSNEY’S Easter Rugby Festival kicks off this Thursday, promising exciting match-ups between some of the country’s outstanding schoolboy teams which don’t ordinarily play each other during the season.

Two schools that will be participating for the first time are Maritzburg College and Hoërskool Noord-Kaap from Kimberley. They will join Boksburg’s Dr EG Jansen, HTS Middelburg, the Eastern Cape’s Selborne College (East London), Dale College (King William’s Town) and Hoërskool Framesby (Port Elizabeth), SACS from Cape Town, as well as Glenwood High School and hosts, Kearsney College, from KZN.

The three play days are Thursday, 24, Saturday, 26 and Monday, 28 March.

This year, Kearsney celebrates its 95th anniversary and headmaster, Elwyn van den Aardweg, said the school was proud to be hosting the ninth successive Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival, as well as the U18 Coca-Cola Youth Weeks (combined Craven Week and Academy Week) with 44 teams during July.

“The festival provided a wonderful opportunity for rugby enthusiasts from around the country to enjoy the Easter weekend in the company of rugby players and supporters in an environment and climate that complements the experience,” said Van den Aardweg.

Van den Aardweg added that the festival always impressed with the exciting quality of rugby displayed by competitive youngsters, while at the same time providing the top players a springboard from which to launch their professional rugby careers.

Kicking off each day will be a match between primary school teams, Highbury Preparatory, Pelham Senior Primary, Umhlali Preparatory and the KZNRU IBUTHO/Mark Godefroy U13 development team, followed by the five senior first XV fixtures.

At the end of the last game of the festival, talent scouts and selectors from The Sharks and The Sharks Academy will award three bursaries comprising a contract with The Sharks Academy and tuition bursary with one of its academic partners.

Participating players and the public can leave new or good condition second-hand rugby kit and clothing in designated collection bins at the main field as part of the ‘Boots and Balls’ outreach initiative. These will be handed over to the KZNRU Development Programme during the closing ceremony.

Gate entrance to the festival is R50 per vehicle or R20 for pedestrians. Ample secure parking will be available, as well as food and refreshment outlets and a KidZone for those wanting to enjoy a day of entertaining rugby.

Go to www.kearsney.com to view the fixtures list.