Top SA schools for local tourney

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Top South African schools rugby teams Pretoria Boys’ High, South African College Schools (SACS) and St Andrews’ College from Malawi will tour the country in June.

The touring teams will be expected to lock horns with local schools rugby giants St John’s College, St Georges’, Prince Edward, Lomagundi and Churchill in a tournament slated for Bushman Rock Safaris in Ruwa, from June 26-30.

In an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday, Stephen Saffin — director of Africa Challenge, the organisers of the event — said he hoped the tournament would play a part in developing schools rugby.

“I believe this will be an opportunity for some of our schools teams, who don’t have the opportunity to go to tours outside the country, to compete against some quality opponents.

“For example Churchill Boys’ High were the dominant force in local schools rugby last season, but never had a chance to test themselves against some of the top schools in the region. We hope this will be a good opportunity for them and all the other participating teams.

“At the moment Pretoria Boys’ High, SACS and St Andrews’ from Malawi have confirmed their participation while Maritzburg have notified us they will no longer be coming down due to financial problems.

“In the future we hope to have more schools teams from other regional countries like Kenya and other touring teams from as far as the UK, Australia and Argentina,” said Saffin.

The upcoming tour by the two South African schools team follows similar tours last year by the British Independent Schools rugby team, the Barbarians and the UK-based Crediton Rugby Football Club Under-17 rugby team.

SACS, who are generally acknowledged as the oldest school in South Africa and Pretoria Boys’ High, are rated among the top playing rugby schools in South Africa.

Soon after the tournament, Pretoria Boys’ High, who were home to four Springbok players namely Nico Bosman, Robbie Brink, Chilliboy Ralepelle and former captain John Smit will then proceed to Bulawayo to play Falcon College at Esigodini.

“The schools we will be playing in Zimbabwe all have a similar ethos to that of Pretoria Boys’ High and this is one of the main reasons for undertaking the tour to that country,” said Pretoria Boys’ High in a statement.