Eastern Cape schools rugby fans will get a taste of the quality of some of the Western Cape’s leading schools when the Standard Bank Cape Schools Rugby and Crosscountry Week, in association with Powerade and Spur, kicks off at Grey High on Saturday (June 27).
Paarl Gymnasium, the alma mater of current Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, and Boland Landbou will be joined by Cape Town sides Rondebosch and SACS to ensure there are no easy pickings for their Eastern Cape rivals.
Paarl Gym have the distinction of lowering the colours of ace Stellenbosch outfit Paul Roos this year and even though they are bringing a youthful side to the week, their rugby pedigree means they will always be dangerous opponents.
“We are very excited about attending the week,” Paarl Gym’s Paul Eksteen said. “At Paarl Gym, it is an honour for all rugby players to represent the first team and this tournament gives a number of players the chance to make their debuts.
“This tournament also gives our boys a chance to make friends with players from other schools and to learn from them.”
Paarl Gym’s skills will be tested by their Border rivals during the week because they play Selborne, Dale and Queen’s. Their game against the powerful Selborne unit on Saturday should be one of the day’s feature matches.
Eksteen said they were pleased with the way their players had developed this season and were looking to playing exciting and attractive rugby during the week.
“All three of our opponents have a rich rugby history and we have full respect for them,” Eksteen said. “We see it as a great challenge to measure ourselves against the players of the Eastern Cape and Border.”
Boland Landbou are also looking forward to testing themselves against unfamiliar opposition.
“We have always enjoyed the Cape Schools Week,” coach Cobus van Coller said. “It gives us a chance to compete against teams we don’t play every year.
“We have huge respect for all three schools we play against [Grey, Selborne and Dale]. We have played against Selborne at almost every Cape Schools Week and we always look forward to that fixture.
“We know that we will have three very tough matches during the week, because all three schools have had some good results so far this season.”
SACS and Rondebosch, two of the original members of the week which began in 1980, will be equally competitive.
This past weekend SACS won Cape Town’s version of the triple crown when they added a win over Wynberg to earlier victories against Bishops and Rondebosch.
They will be looking forward to tackling hosts Grey High on Monday, while Rondebosch kick off their programme with the final match of the day against the PE side on Saturday.
A good performance there will set them up for a successful trip to the Eastern Cape.
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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