Framesby, Nico Malan at Kearsney

EASTERN Cape schools will be well represented at one of the top rugby festivals in the country when Framesby and Nico Malan join Border counterparts Dale and Selborne at the Kearsney Festival in KwaZulu-Natal next month.

Now in its seventh year, the 2014 festival has again attracted many of South Africa’s top rugby schools.

All 12 participating teams are renowned for their rugby pedigree and were widely regarded as being among the top teams in the country at the end of last season.

Other participating teams are Grey College (Bloemfontein), Affies (Pretoria), Monument (Krugersdorp), EG Jansen (Boksburg), HTS Middelburg (Middelburg), with Glenwood, Westville and Kearsney College from host province KwaZulu-Natal.

Speaking at the launch of the festival last week, Kearsney headmaster Elwyn van den Aardweg said the festival had grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2008.

Six fixtures would be held on each of the three play days and the festival was sure to provide exciting entertaining play, he said.

Sharks chief executive and former Springbok captain John Smit said they were proud of their association with the festival which, since its inception, had been a phenomenal success.

“This event gives youngsters an ideal platform to display their talent and ability; and, who knows, they could be scouted to play at a higher level,” he said.

Festival director Taff Green was delighted to welcome back Selborne, who have played in every Kearsney festival since inception. EG Jansen have played in six Kearsney festivals and Grey College, Glenwood and Dale College have each participated in five.

The Eastern Cape schools’ fixtures are:

April 17: Framesby v Monument, Westville v Nico Malan

13.15: Selborne v Affies, Glenwood v Dale

April 19: Selborne v Framesby, Middelburg v Nico Malan, Kearsney v Dale

April 21: Nico Malan v Dale, Glenwood v Framesby, Westville v Selborne

KC U15 festival

WHILE Easter festivals for senior teams abound around the country, Kingswood will be hosting the ninth annual U15 Independent Schools’ Rugby Festival at that time.

Started in 2005 at Michaelhouse, this event takes place during the Easter holidays and serves as an excellent platform for building U15 squads for the rugby season.

Kingswood organiser Matthew Ridgway is excited about the cross-section of schools which will be attending.

“From the young school looking to participate for the first time to older more established sporting schools, we’ve had a fantastic response,” Ridgway said. “Every effort is made to match the teams so that there are no runaway scores. The pattern of play is that games are 25 minutes long [no break] and each team plays two games per day. This has done a lot to prevent serious injuries and has also prevented big scores from developing.”

An exciting new feature this year will be rugby under lights. This is made possible by Kingswood’s facilities and will add a new element to games after sundown.

There are 14 schools participating this year with international opposition in the form of Guildford Rugby Club from the UK and St George’s College from Zimbabwe. – Neale Emslie


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