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The Voortrekker and the Wartburg festivals, the latter, traditionally the opening of school second-tier rugby in the region take place in the next couple of weeks. Both of these also involve girls’ hockey and netball.
The Easter festivals around the country, which are now competing with one another to attract the top schoolboy rugby sides, take place during the Easter holidays. Grey HS in Port Elizabeth takes place over the beginning of the holiday on March 24, 26 and 28. The other festivals are over the Easter weekend on April 5, 7 and 9.
Of the 20 schools at the Grey HS Festival, which include KZN schools, Kearsney, Hilton, Michaelhouse and Maritzburg College, 10 of them will be playing the following weekend at one of the other festivals. This includes Kearsney who will be hosting their own festival.
This year’s line-up of 12 schools participating in the Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival is the strongest since its inception five years ago.
This year’s line-up includes powerhouse teams from Grey College in Bloemfontein, Affies from Pretoria, Monument from Krugersdorp and EG Jansen from Boksburg; as well as Selborne, Dale and Queen’s colleges from the Eastern Cape. Paarl Gymnasium and Stellenbosch’s Paul Roos represent the Western Cape. Glenwood, KZN’s top side for the past few years, festival newcomers Westville Boys’ High and hosts Kearsney College from KZN, complete the line-up.
Talent scouts from the Sharks and Sharks Academy will be on the lookout on play days for players who are a step above the norm. Three scholarships, comprising a contract with the Sharks Academy and tuition bursary with Varsity College, will be awarded at the end of the festival.
For many decades, Easter rugby festivals were held only in Gauteng at St John’s, St Stithians and Kes. This festival at Kearsney has become an important fixture on the calendars of supporters of schoolboy rugby in KZN.
For local schoolboy rugby lovers, a trip to Kearsney will be well worthwhile to see some of the country’s top U18 players in action.