The UCT Ikey Tigers showed the strength of South African rugby by securing their second successive World University Rugby Cup title in Kamiigusa on Monday.
The Ikeys squad went unbeaten throughout the tournament, overcoming the University of British Columbia (Canada), Bordeaux University (France), and a combined New Zealand Universities squad (New Zealand) in the group stages. UCT then faced old foes Oxford University (United Kingdom) in the semi-finals, who they met at the same stage in the tournament four years earlier, before going on to secure the title over the French side.
The Ikey Tigers claimed the inaugural title in Oxford, UK in 2015 by beating Trinity College Dublin, after being selected following their 2014 Varsity Cup triumph.
UCT RFC club director Johnny Biderman-Pam said the triumph was a statement for the strength of South African rugby.
‘Winning back-to-back World University Rugby Cup titles is an indication of the strength not only of UCT rugby, but South African rugby on the whole. This Ikeys squad have come to Japan and made a huge statement on the international stage, setting the benchmark for university rugby the world over.’
Ikey Tigers captain Liam Greenhalgh was thankful for the messages of support during their time in Japan.
‘The squad has been overwhelmed by the support that we have received from the Ikey community. From individual donations to messages of support on social media, it has all formed part of the success of this tour. It is this type of generosity and support that makes the Ikey Tiger community so unique and so very special.’
The Ikeys touring squad return to South Africa later this week, where they will have a short break before beginning preparations for their 2020 Varsity Cup campaign.