TWO regions with a massive schools rugby tradition will come face to face when the 18th Standard Bank Cape Schools Rugby and Crosscountry Week, in association with Spur and Powerade, is hosted by Grey High in Port Elizabeth from June 27 to July 1.
After the Craven Week tournament, which was started in 1964, the Cape Schools Week is one of the longest-running schools festivals in the country, having been started in 1980.
The initial idea came from former teacher Ray Connellan, who went to school at Selborne in East London and later taught at Queen’s, Wynberg Boys’ High and SACS.
The plan was to hold the tournament every two years, giving schools teams who normally don’t play each other in the annual programme a chance test themselves against fresh opposition.
The venue alternates between the Eastern and Western Cape, with five schools from each region invited to take part each time. There have been the inevitable changes in terms of the entries, but the schools have largely remained the same and the 2015 week promises to provide another thrilling festival of schoolboy rugby.
This year there will be four Western Cape teams – Paarl Gymnasium, Boland Landbou, SACS and Rondebosch – and they will be joined by a Standard Bank XV which should prove a pretty competitive unit.
The Standard Bank team is effectively an EP fifth team, incorporating players who did not make the cut for the EP Craven Week and EP Academy teams. Given the depth of schoolboy rugby in the Eastern Cape, this side should be a more than useful line-up and players on the fringe will certainly have a point to prove during the week.
Local powerhouses Grey High and Selborne, who are both unbeaten against Eastern Cape opposition this season, lead the way for the host province and they will be joined by Queen’s, Dale and Muir.
There has been terrific competition among the Western Cape teams this year, with Paarl Gym registering one of their best wins against ace Stellenbosch outfit Paul Roos Gym, while SACS underlined their credentials when they shocked Pretoria team Affies in a festival over Easter.
Boland Landbou and Rondebosch have also proved highly competitive and there will be no doubt that the Eastern Cape teams will be tested to the full.
The fixtures for the Standard Bank Cape Schools Rugby Week are:
- Saturday, June 27: 09:30: Dale v Boland Landbou, 10:45: SACS v Muir, 12:00: Queen’s v Standard Bank XV; 13:15: Paarl Gym v Selborne; 15:00: Rondebosch v Grey High
- Monday, June 29: 10:00: Muir v Standard Bank XV; 11:15: Rondebosch v Selborne; 12:30: Paarl Gym v Dale; 13:45: SACS v Queen’s; 15:00: Boland Landbou v Grey High
- Wednesday, July 1: 09:00: Boland Landbou v Selborne; 10:15: Dale v Standard Bank XV; 11:30: Grey High v SACS; 12.40: Rondebosch v Muir; 14:00: Paarl Gym v Queen’s
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