Universities in action, Club Friendlies on their way

The past few weeks have seen an enormous surge in club rugby activity and rugby spirit as we see our University sides continue to be successful at the Varsity Cup, our DHL Women’s Rugby squad preparing for trials and club rugby now allowed to return to play.

This past weekend saw victories for our University Clubs in the Varsity Cup with UCT scoring a 39-34 win over UJ, UWC beat the Madibaz 47-40 and Stellenbosch beating Wits 19 – 13 at the TUKS fields in Johannesburg. CPUT got their Varsity Shield campaign off to a good start with a solid 36-20 win over Fort Hare get at Loftus in Pretoria this Monday.

Following SA Rugby’s recent announcement that clubs may return to play we are happy to say that most of our clubs have reported an increase in member returns and continue to roll out the prescribed phased “return to play” approach.

To stay aligned and on top of all processes and procedures, last week saw us roll out our regional meetings with our clubs over two days at DHL Newlands where we engaged with our clubs on several matters including the return to play process and various discussions on the 2021 season. Currently, clubs can arrange friendlies amongst themselves according to the COVID regulations.

Although the SA Rugby announcement indicates that clubs may play from Monday 12 April 2021, we remind our clubs that that permission must be granted by the Union to proceed playing matches. Currently, we have close on forty clubs allowed to return to play by the end of April and just over sixty may return to play by the end of May. We commend our clubs for adhering to the phased regulations.

Following on the first successful high-performance coaching workshop presented by DHL Stormers coach Rito Hlungwane on the theory of attack and defence this coming Wednesday will see assistant coach Dawie Snyman present on the attacking rugby theory. Any coach who wishes to join the session should reach out to their club leadership for registration.

Our DHL WP Rugby Women’s Rugby squad will play their first trials at the HPC this coming Saturday as they prepare for the upcoming interprovincial league tournament with the first match scheduled against Boland Women’s Rugby on 8 May 2021. After a year of inactivity, we’re happy to say that the players are in good spirits, strong and fit.

It’s encouraging to see our senior women engage in our campaign to grow our women’s rugby structures. Our campaign to reach a five thousand women or girls membership target remains firmly in place and is gaining momentum as we see our clubs continue to signup women’s representative to champion the cause at their clubs. If you would like to sign as a women’s rugby representative can click here to sign up now.

The additional big news is of course on the school’s rugby front following the recent announcement that school contact sports may resume according to the COVID guidelines. Several schools have already scheduled fixtures.

We remind our members that although there is much excitement now for the “return to play” we must continue to follow all the health and safety protocols. All clubs have undergone a strict clearance process to be allowed to either return to training or play and these rules remain strictly in place for club administrators and players.

We urge all our members to help us keep the game of rugby intact by complying with the guidelines both on and off the field. Remember to wash your hands regularly, practice social distancing and always wear a mask.

This week sees the start of the holy month of Ramadaan and we wish all our Muslim members Ramadan Mubarak and to have a safe and blessed month.