Former Bok coach White honoured with new role

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 15:31
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SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT: The sixth annual Jeppe High School for Boys Rhino Rugby Under-16 Rugby Festival will take place from March 29 to April 2.

And World Cup-winning Springboks coach Jake White has been named the Patron of the festival.

White, who is a Jeppe old boy and a former teacher at the school, will be in attendance over the weekend.

Aside from his role as Patron of the festival, White has been constantly giving back to the school.

The 54-year-old paid a visit to the school in June 2017 where he ran a coaching session for the first XV and under-16A teams and then conducted a coaching masterclass for the Jeppe coaches in the Watson Pavilion.

In 2010, White along with the Jeppe High School for Boys launched the Jake White Scholarship Fund.

Universally acclaimed as one of the most accomplished rugby coaches in South Africa's history, the 54-year-old stated he is honoured to accept the role.

"I am honoured to be involved in this initiative which supports the development of Rugby and our future rugby stars, in such a direct and tangible way,"

Eighteen schools will be represented, with 450 boys and 50 coaches and managers participating over the weekend.

While there are a number of first-team rugby festivals each year, the under-16 age group is not as well served. This is the only inland under-16 festival, yet the U16 year is crucial in the preparation of schoolboy rugby players.

Under-16 is the last time in a schoolboy’s rugby career that all players compete with their peers – in open rugby they play with and against players who are older than them – so this is an opportunity for schools to measure themselves against the top schools in the country on an equal footing.

The concept has proved to be popular in the past and the indications are that a bumper crop of the top schools will be in action at the 2018 festival.

The following schools will be playing:

Ben Vorster, Bishops, Florida, Grey High School, Helpmekaar, King Edward VII, Lichtenburg, Golden Lions Invitation XV, Northwood,  Parktown Boys' High, Pretoria Boys’ High, Randburg, St Benedict’s College, St Charles College, Zwartkop, Wesvalia, Westville Boys' High.

The teams will play three matches each: on Thursday, Saturday and Monday, and there will be plenty of opportunities for the players from different schools to mingle and benefit from the experience of participating in a festival.

As the event is a festival format, there are no league points up for grabs and no overall winners.

The fixtures will be announced within the next few weeks.

Sources: School of Rugby & @jeppeboys