I had a parent ask me about this last week so I thought I’d share what I know.
Basically in the Bulls, Lions and KZN regions (and there are probably others), a matric repeater is not allowed to represent his school at rugby in the local leagues or at provincial school level. He is regarded as a post-matric.
These rules came about in around 2007-2008 as part of the agreement to phase out genuine post-matrics – boys who were taking tertiary institution courses while still attending.
There have been complications though.
A few years back I came across the case of M.V.L., a Florida student who had represented the Golden Lions at Craven Week as an under-17 player in 2016. Later that year he passed matric but wanted to repeat to get better grades. As a result of having a matric certificate, he was not allowed to play in the Virsekerbeker in 2017, nor was he allowed to be picked for a Lions under-18 youth week team. This in spite of him being under-18 , the most common acceptable age for a matric student. It was harsh treatment in both regards but particularly the Virsekerbeker verdict where under-19’s are permitted to play.
In KZN in the same period, DHS had a talent sportsman named B.S., who could have added much value to their 2017 1st XV. However he too as a result of having completed matric at DHS in 2016 while still under-17, would have been excluded from sport had he chosen to stay on in the province. So he enrolled at Kingswood in Grahamstown the following year and completed a type of post-matric year there – this is permitted in the Eastern Cape.
One would have expected the rules to be more flexible towards the students who are still under-18 in their matric repeat years.