Big Boishaai Tour
On Friday evening, rugby teams from Paarl Boys High fly out of Cape Town International Airport in what may just be the biggest rugby touring group ever.
It takes courage to take a team of schoolboys abroad on a rugby tour, a big responsibility for schoolmasters. But in this case Paarl Boys' High are taking four teams to New Zealand - a 100 boys with 10 schoolmasters to look after their wellbeing, enjoyment and the matches which they will be playing.
And there will also be supporters.
The four teams travelling are the 1st XV, 2nd XV, 3rd XV and the Under-16A. The first XV travel with the burden of success, two seasons unbeaten in South Africa and for two seasons ranked No.1 on our Top 20. They will want to win their matches.
They leave Cape Town at 20.00 on Friday evening and go north to Dubai, arriving there in the early morning. They change planes in Dubai and fly down south to Melbourne for refuelling and then on to Auckland where the arrive on the early afternoon of Sunday, March 26.
Between March 27 and April 7, the four teams will play a total of 17 matches, four for each team and one more for the 1st XV.
On Monday the rugby starts - against Sacred Heart College, founded by the Marist Brothers, the same people responsible for the education of Richard Visagie, Boys' High's deputy principal.
Sacred Heart College has a strong rugby tradition. Several All Blacks have come from the school, most notably Sean Fitzpatrick who captained the All Blacks in 51 of his 92 Tests.
After this Boys' High will be playing against St Peter's College, founded by the Christian Brothers, Otahuhu College of South Auckland with its large Polynesian population, Gisborne Boys' High in the coastal city of Gisborne in the northeast of North Island, Nelson College which has a special place in New Zealand's rugby history as playing the first-ever match in New Zealand in 1870 and the first-ever interschools match when it played Wellington College in 1876 and then finally Christchurch Boys' High where Daniel Carter and 45 other All Blacks went to school.
The 1st XV will also play against Porirua United Academy in north Wellington, whose most famous player is the late Jerry Collins.
Every school that Boys' High goes to, will have a great rugby tradition and lots of rugby pride.
There will be lots of opportunities for sightseeing and other activities - a tour of Eden Park, jetboating at Huka Falls, Rotorua and Te Puia for the steaming, bubbling water and the Maori culture, a marae, the New Zealand Rugby Museum and a ferry ride from Wellington to Picton on the South Island which South-Islanders like to call the Mainland.
Paarl Boys' High 3rd XV vs Sacred Heart College 2nd XV
Paarl Boys' High 1st XV vs Sacred Heart College 1st XV
Paarl Boys' High 2nd XV vs St Peters College 1st XV
Paarl Boys' High Under-16 vs Otahuhu College
Paarl Boys' High 3rd XV vs Otahuhu College
Paarl Boys' High Under-16 vs Gisborne Boys' High Under-16
Paarl Boys' High 2nd XV vs Gisborne Boys' High 2nd XV
Paarl Boys' High 1st XV vs Gisborne Boys' High 1st XV
Paarl Boys' High 1st vs Porirua United Academy
Paarl Boys' High Under-16 vs Nelson College Under-16
Paarl Boys' High 3rd XV vs Nelson College Colts
Paarl Boys' High 2nd XV vs Nelson College 2nd XV
Paarl Boys' High 1st XV vs Nelson College 1st XV
Paarl Boys' High Under-16 vs Christchurch Boys' High Under-16
Paarl Boys' High 3rd XV vs Christchurch Boys' High 3rd XV
Paarl Boys' High 2nd XV vs Christchurch Boys' High 2nd XV
Paarl Boys' High 1st XV vs Christchurch Boys' High 1st XV
The long haul home starts on April 8 when they take off from Christchurch for Dubai where they change planes on April 9 and Emirates bring them back in Cape Town in the late afternoon.
Everybody would want to wish Paarl Boys' High Bon Voyage.