Six of South Africa’s top rugby schools are currently in negotiations to establish a two-tier competition which would take place from 2021 onward.
Garsfontein Hoërskool, Grey College, Hoër Jongenskool Paarl (Paarl Boishaai), Monument Hoërskool, Paarl Gimnasium and Paul Roos Gymnasium were invited and agreed to take part in further negotiations that will lead to the establishment of a formal “SA Schools Rugby Challenge”. Negotiations are still in process with other schools to expand the challenge to a minimum of eight participating schools at the Tier 1 level.
The initial invites 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. However, the organisers intend to involve all qualifying schools 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 he represents his school at 1st XV level or U14C level.
During the negotiations, it was clear that although all were eager to participate in this challenge some hard work and negotiations must still take place during the next two to three months to ensure the participation of all.
The terms of the series will be negotiated with the following guidelines that were established during the past months:
1) The ‘challenge’ will only take place from 2021 onwards.
2) The establishment of a second-tier of competing schools from 2022 onwards.
3) Promotion/Relegation between the two tiers from 2023 onwards.
4) The minimum teams a school must field is three teams per age group and four in the U19 age group.
5) ‘Developing’ schools will be ‘adopted’ to help ensure that all the teams of the participating schools will have fixtures at any stage. Parel Vallei Hoërskool has been confirmed as the first development school.
6) Eligibility of players – No player will be allowed to participate in this series at the U19 age group who are not enrolled at his new school within the first two weeks after 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.
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