The UCT Ikey Tigers will travel to Japan to defend their title at the invitational World University Rugby Cup hosted by Waseda University.
The World University Rugby Cup was inaugurated in 2015 at Oxford University as a competition played between top academic rugby universities from each continent, coinciding with the World Cup every four years, and hosted by a leading university in the World Cup host country.
UCT played in the same tournament in its first edition in Oxford four years ago and returned victorious. Following an excellent Super League A season, where they are currently placed first with one round to go, expectations are high for this year’s team to defend their title.
Teams will arrive in Tokyo on 16 September and the tournament will run until 25 September, which will include activities to introduce the players to Japanese culture. It will run alongside the start of the World Cup and there are rest days allowing students to take in some of the action from the global showpiece.
Former Tigers No 8 and captain Guy Alexander says participating at the tournament provided a life-changing experience for the players that year.
‘It was an opportunity of a lifetime,’ Alexander said. ‘The lessons, friends and memories I took away from the week have proven to be a major asset in both my professional and personal life. It literally was life changing. Winning it made it just that much better.’
UCT have been placed in Pool B along with the University of British Columbia, New Zealand University and the University of Bordeaux. Pool A, meanwhile, is made up of Waseda University, Oxford University, the University of Sydney and the Siberia Federal University.
The first round of action will take place on Wednesday, 18 September.
Photo: Kevin Sawyer/Varsity Sports