The 2019 edition of the World Schools Festival will be staged at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch from 25-30 March.
The festival, a brainchild of former Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer and current Paarl Boys’ High coach Sean Erasmus, was held in Paarl in April this year. It will again feature 10 of the top rugby-playing schools in South Africa and 10 of the best teams from around the world.
SACS will be playing at the Graeme College Festival on the Saturday 16 March against St Andrews College and will then be preparing at a camp along the East Coast. “We were delighted to receive the invite and did not hesitate in accepting it. This is a fantastic tournament to be involved in and will be a wonderful experience for our boys to play against international teams. It is not only about the game, but about meeting and interacting with players from other countries” says Barry van Selm, Head of Rugby at SACS.
Event owners Carinat Sports Marketing were delighted with the interest shown after only one edition, which was the brainchild of former Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
“When Heyneke first brought up the idea of trying to bring the best schools around the world together, we saw the potential, and wondered why it had never been done before,” said Jon Phelps, founding partner of Carinat Sports Marketing. “Heyneke is currently coaching French club Stade Francais, but will stay involved as an official ambassador of the festival, and we’re very pleased to keep him on board.”
The addition of the South African Invitation XV is testament to the stature of the tournament, and SARU’s Nico Serfontein, who heads up the organization’s Elite Player Development program, described the decision to participate as a ‘no-brainer.’
“When Jon approached us to take part, we jumped at the opportunity,” said Serfontein. “A few of our players don’t come from the traditional rugby schools, so this is a perfect opportunity to see them in action against powerful foreign schools which they ordinarily wouldn’t face, while at the same time testing our depth as we prepare for the international series in June.”
The invitational team will be made up entirely of schoolboys, while there will also be a strong emphasis on former pupils at the festival, particularly from those schools taking part.
“The festival is quickly earning a reputation as the best global gathering of schoolboy talent, and the Rest of the World line-up is looking very strong,” added Phelps. “It embodies all that is good about schoolboy rugby, and we will look to grow certain aspects in 2019, especially to have more Old Boys teams playing on the Saturday, which will be the final day of the competition.”
We hope to see many SACS supporters out in Stellenbosch and following the festival on the various media platforms.
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