Before the Southern Kings vs Sharks game on Saturday evening (WON by the Southern Kings, who LOST 21-12 to the Sharks) Francois de Wet (Die Son sien alles) and I were having a chin wag about the old days – in Francois’ case the old days don’t extend much further than before the year 2000 whereas mine encompass a Gavin Cowley, Danie Gerber era.
The Stormers Chiefs game was up on the big screen at the NMB Stadium and the name Kolisi was mentioned as we were discussing young Southern Kings sensation Sergeal Petersen – both Grey High School boys.
Francois was rabbiting on about Paul Jordaan, the Sharks centre and sometime flyhalf, who attended Gill Primary in Somerset East. I thought it would be churlish of me to remind Francois that Jordaan went on to attend Grey College in Bloemfontein after finishing at Francois’ alma mater, Gill.
As talk between Francois and I flowed I realised a little something – our choices and players of special mention were not based on a race but rather on talent and even more so on where the players went to school – in my case Kolisi and Petersen as recent representatives of my alma mater, Grey High and in Francois’ case he, unfortunately, had only ONE player to choose that had come from his alma mater, Gill in Somerset East.
The School Boy Rugby site recently did an analysis of the high and primary schools attended by the 165 South African Super Rugby squad members from 80 different high and 129 primary schools and found the following: In terms of high schools, Grey College of Bloemfontein leads the way with 24 players followed by Paarl Gim (10), Affies (8), Grey High of PE (7), Paul Roos (6), Dale College (5) and Paarl Boys High (4), EG Jansen (4), Maritzburg College (4).
Leading the primary school pack as a breeding ground for Super Rugby players are the two Grey schools with Grey College Primary School in Bloemfontein having 11 representatives all of whom went on to attend Grey College, followed by Grey Junior School in Port Elizabeth with 6 players, of which 4 went on to Grey High School, 1 to Kingswood and 1 to Grey College.
Click here to see the full analysis: SA Super Rugby players: high school & primary school.
Now that is something that the rugby authorities would do well to focus on – the schools that are breeding rugby talent have demonstrated that they are also producing rabid supporters and a specific rallying point of common interest.
Talking about common and interest a little further look at the School Boy Super Rugby Database also reveals that the Western Cape has 43 Super Rugby players that learned their trade in that province followed by, surprise, surprise, the Eastern Province with 42 Super Rugby players who learned their trade in that province.
Dear administrators and politicians – the man in the street is far ahead of you on the race curve and defines his/her favourites in terms of talent, alma mater and province, NOT race.
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