BOMBSHELL : A LOOK INTO THE FUTURE
“Gotcha, bro !” Paarl Gym no. 8 Juan Wilson tackles Bishops wing Luca Liebenberg
during the Paarl side’s 31-10 away win on 6 April 2019. (photo: Madison Beley)
The following release has just come in from Carl Fobian, the man behind the Ruggas website, who has given permission for its publication.
The ramifications are too vast to digest and discuss without some serious consideration. For that reason, this site will be reserving its thoughts until such contemplation has taken place.
The dream of many schoolboy rugby supporters is about to come true. Some of the top rugby playing schools and major role players came together during the past few months to negotiate the birth of arguably the most competitive schoolboy rugby challenge in the world.
Garsfontein, Grey College, Paarl Boys’ High, Monument, Paarl Gym and Paul Roos were invited and agreed to take part in further negotiations that will lead to the establishment of a formal "SA Schools Rugby Challenge". Negotiations to expand the challenge to a minimum of eight participating schools at the Tier 1 level have recently seen Outeniqua join this select band.
The initial invitations took into account the schools' current fixture lists and workload. Great care was also taken to guarantee that historical fixtures will not be affected during the initial period. It is, however, the organizers’ intent to involve all the schools which qualify before the end of 2022.
This series aims to ensure that the invited schools compete annually against each other, with all their rugby playing boys getting the opportunity to test themselves against the best, whether they represent their school at 1st XV or Under 14C level.
During the negotiations, it was clear that, although everyone was eager to participate in this challenge, some hard work and negotiations lie ahead during the next two to three months to ensure the participation of all.
The well-known Mr Bart Schoeman will act as chairman during the negotiations and guide the process in the initial three years.
The terms of the series will be negotiated, but the following guidelines were established during the past months.
1) The "challenge" will only take place from 2021 onwards.
2) A second-tier of competing schools will be established from 2022 onwards.
3) Promotion/relegation will take place between the two tiers from 2023 onwards.
4) A school must field a minimum of three teams per age group and four U19 teams.
5) "Developing" schools will be “adopted" to help ensure none of the participating schools’ teams will lack fixtures at any stage. Parel Vallei has been confirmed as the first such school.
6) Eligibility of players : No player will be allowed to participate in this series at U19 level who was not enrolled at his new school within the first two weeks of the commencement of his first grade 11 school year. A committee will be appointed who will evaluate each transfer that does not comply.
7) Coaches of the competing schools will make themselves available for free coaching clinics specifically aimed at developing coaches to assist in the development of rugby at all rugby- playing schools.
8) The traditional fixtures and values of participating schools are to be respected.