South African (school and club) rugby

  • I didn't want to clutter our NZ school or club rugby threads with stories coming from South Africa. So I decided to start a new thread, because there may be stories about rugby in South Africa that are also relevant to us in NZ.

    This column is a good example of that; I've only copied and pasted some paragraphs.

    Schoolboy rugby losing fun factor

    In his first column for SA Rugby magazine, former Springbok STEFAN TERBLANCHE maintains schoolboy rugby is becoming far too professional in South Africa.
    With the competitive and professional nature of particularly rugby at school level we unfortunately lose too many kids who want to play, but don’t want to make a career out of it. And, at the other end of the stick, we lose too many players at school who thought they could make a career of it.
    It’s a situation any sport can ill afford and if you don’t believe me look at club rugby as it is literally bleeding to death in all rugby-playing provinces.
    You will be surprised to see that many schoolboys are only allowed to play rugby – and no other sports – with all-year round pre-season training, specialised rugby fitness sessions, special hours of schooling and classes. All the while supplementing normal wholesome meals with creatine, whey proteins and who knows what else (you don’t want to open that can or worms now but we will soon) and a rugby season bursting with a fixture list matching most professional teams in South Africa.
    Many schools will argue that it’s their biggest marketing tool and when the 1st XV is performing well, the school and boarding establishment are full. Whoever is doing that should not be allowed near kids, and for that matter a rugby field, as it is a part of a bigger problem where the game in our country is dying because of what’s happening at school level.

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