u19’s add huge value at Noord-Suid 2021

Just about the whole of the 2020 schoolboy rugby season was cancelled due to the pandemic. At a point during that year, discussions shifted to a topic about what schools/high school rugby associations/SARU could or should do to accommodate the many promising school rugby players that effectively missed out on the opportunity to showcase their talents. The top brass players didn’t have too much to worry about as they were sorted for union contracts and/or other sponsorships to play junior rugby another after they matriculated. The main concern was for the batch of players who would typically use the rugby season to play their way into post school rugby contention. Add to it the new experience of achieving academically during times where studying independently of teacher supervision, away from the classroom. Two high hurdles which ultimately led to the conclusion that a higher than usual under-19 representation in schoolboy rugby in 2021 was inevitable. What those discussing possibly did not gauge was how much value players like this were bound to add to the quality of 70-minute play. So as a tribute to the the achievers who brought viewers contentment, listed is an under-19 team containing the names of many standouts at Noord-Suid alongside the under-18 team of the festival for this blog.

61 Comments

  1. Beet ek stem vir jou span. Oakdale en Gim is die basis, dan moet Grey en HJS dit volmaak.
    Ek sou net die HJS 10 voor die Gim 10 gekies het.

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  2. @Arend: The 10 of HJS is a playmaker of note. I think by the end of the season it will be hard to decide what to leave out of his highlights package because of all the content to choose from. Hopefully those entrusted with his development at the next levels after school will find ways to keep building on that creativity. I have seeing some awesome displays by the likes of young 10’s Jalibert of Bordeaux/France and Smith of Harlequins, who are given licence to do what Compion does at SBR level.

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  3. Beet, ek merk dat jy Gim se No 15 op No 14 kies, bo Gim se gereelde No 14, Logan Opperman. Ek wonder sommer wat jou rede(s) is ?

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  4. @Carpe diem: Gim het die vermoe om leemtes aan te vul deur posisionele skuiwe, en baie keer gebeur dit dat daardie speler in n ster ontpop!

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  5. @Strepie: Dankie Strepie, maar Gim het, wat my betref, nie n leemte op No 14 nie, inteendeel…. Verder het die No 15 in geen wedstryd, sover ek weet, op 14 gespeel nie. Jy het gekies om ook te reageer op my vraag aan Beet, waarmee ek nie regtig n probleem het nie, maar ongelukkig deel jou reaksie nie met dit waaroor my vraag handel nie.

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  6. How many of these u19 boys are first year martic scholers and how many are repeating matric for the purpose of playing first team rugby?

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  7. @Smallies: Goeie vraag.Die digitv kommentators by Monnas se feesvieringe het gesรช dat een skool 10 0/19’s speel en ander speel 7. Laat mens dink.

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  8. @Wonder: ja die koue wind het alles baie beneuk vir baie jong mense….ek is baie dankbaar dat my dogter haar matriek suksesvol kon afhandel ten spyte van dit

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  9. There are a lot of boys that decided to repeat matric for rugby. I can understand their decision but I feel for the guys doing matric for the first time having been at the school since grade 8 and wanting to finish off the school career with caps for the first team , only to be denied the opportunity by a sudden import. Does not seem right.

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  10. I wonder if this is going to be a new trend going forward , boys repeating to get more exposure. With the live streaming and televised games it makes sense. They will have far more exposure at a bigger school the second time around. Once out of school , very few opportunities to be seen. Especially if they on bursaries , time well spent. Hope this is not the case .

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  11. @wrecked: schools should make this a once off exception, if you are good enough and has come through a noted highscool system a scout someware will have your name

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  12. @Smallies: After watching the two tournaments it became very apparent where school rugby is heading. Not unlike the ill feited soccer super league. The top 10 – 15 teams will eventually play each other week in and week out to big tv or streaming audiences. The money will flow back to them and they will all recruit like hell. The end of fantastic school traditions and the beauty of school boy rugby.

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  13. I dont really see this as a bad thing, school rugby is U/19 so if a player is still U/19 and in the school I think he should play. It has been like that with Athletics, for ever going to SA’s at U/15 or U/17 or U/19. So when a boy is U/16 and the SA high jump champ, nobody cries that he has taken the spot of all the U/17 athletes. He is the best. Handre Pollard was still in school when he won the junior World Cup with U/20 team, what about all those U/20 fly halves in that year ? Now Handre has won the RWC with the Springboks and we all celebrated with him as he is well deserved the best in his position.

    And here is my biggest motivation for supporting the U/19 at school level. With so many great school coaches, and rugby programs and HPC’s (some schools even building a second HPC) the boy will get much better coaching, S&C, and game time for the year, on a high quality level, then when he leaves school in his U/20 year he can play provincial rugby because there is no U/19 tournament. So the boy at 18 can leave school and compete at Varsity or provincial level against 60 boys in two age groups and may be lost to the system and eventually end up playing club rugby or leaving the sport. However if I look at some of the U/19 players in the team Beet picked, they will get plenty of exposure this season opening up some opportunities for them in SA or even (AND ESPECIALLY) abroad. If he is the best player in the school and he is U/19 let him play, the number 10 from Gim is U/17 (still 16 years old) and he was awarded man of the match if he is good enough he should play.

    And everybody knows the rule that a player can play if he is U/19. So either go get some U/19 or keep your team back from this year and let all of them play next year, or stop crying if you loose against a team with U/19 players. Stop saying we lost because we had less time to prepare or we lost because they have U/19 players and we have U/17 players. You are also allowed to do it.

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  14. @kantako: I agree that the best should play and I dont have a problem with U 19. I think its a problem when a boy completes matric and transfers to another school to repeat matric so that he can play school rugby for another year.

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  15. @wrecked: Interesting opinion. I think a lot of people would support you on what you have said while a number of people who earn a living from the professional approach plus aspiring players/parents would love to have a super league.

    The evolution of rugby as a pro sport in SA suggests that boys who have the potential and are interested in becoming pros one day need something more than just a few days in an EPD camp once a year and more challenging tests than many of the interschools matches they participate in. Perhaps they should be afforded the opportunity to concentrate on rugby and do academics around that as part of a super league. Ideally it should mean leaving conventional schools and enrolling in youth training academics. Those who stay behind would continue upholding the fine traditions of interschools as students who play rugby. But in SA there is also very little money available to fund this separation and therefore the two streams have to find a way to coexist.

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  16. @Carpe diem: Hi. Sorry I’m late in seeing your question. I picked three fullbacks for the B3. I liked all three players because of their skill sets. I saw Losper as a player who not only attacked the spaces but was equally equipped to kept moves alive via his support play and his linking up.

    I have nothing but praise for Logan Opperman. He is powerfully built and one of the few wings who didn’t allow the touchline to become an extra defender when he carried. I sense he has a bit of a Niel Burger element in his arsenal and it may show itself more prominently on wetter pitches.

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  17. @beet: I think they need to have the super league and let the big dogs battle it out with whatever resources they can throw at their rugby program. This will cater for the guys that want to be pros and provide the viewing content for tv and super sport streaming. The guys that want to be pros can be scouted and taken to these schools / acadamies.
    The problem if these schools stay in the leagues they are in it will eventually kill off rugby. Take the Southern Suburb Schools in Cape Town . Between them they may not win more then 3 games across all age groups and will lose on average by 50 points a game to the like of Paarl Gym or Paarl Boys. They are not bad rugby schools but not in the same league yet they are. How many boys do you think want to carry on with rugby after these mis matches and a few serious injuries. How many parents try and talk there kids out of playing.Once these numbers start dipping you have the eventual decline of school boy rugby as a sport to be enjoyed by all shapes and sizes on a Saturday morning.

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  18. @wrecked: yeah but as part of a super league, the designated schools would only play each other. Using the SS as an example, if they had to lose the 3 Winelands schools and pick up 3 N/Suburbs schools in its place, under the current circumstances of 2021, they might have a more evenly balanced league. In KZN, my favourite seasons have been the ones where the schools are evenly matched. Yes there is the annual debate about who should be ranked where and why or why not, but I don’t think it has detracted any supporters from attending matches. Even with a super league in play, there can still be a reward of provincial representation made available to those playing normal school level rugby.

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  19. @beet: Yes a more even league would encourage participation. The key is participation. Boys and girls that play rugby at school are far more likely to play after school for universities and clubs. They also become supporters of rugby teams and help fill stadiums and attract advertisers. It is these people that will pay the pros salaries so ignore these guys at your peril.
    Spectators want to see entertaining rugby. Even contest with lots of skill on display and traditional running rugby.
    Let the super league get there provincial representation , if you want that then go off to a super league school. For a number of years that has been controlled by certain schools and agents that do their horse trading.

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  20. Sometimes one older player can make a huge difference in a team and sometimes a young team like this year from Gim can be ranked 1st in the country. Glenwood has run a “sport academy” for more then a decade now it has not made them a powerhouse whom have pulled away from all other schools, In my opinion I dont even rank them as the best in KZN at the moment, so establishing an academy format is not always the answer, Durbanville have a few U/19 players in their team and they put up a great show at N/S but they wont be in the Top 20 this year, then again take The 2020 team from Welkom Gim with those U/19 players they would have been hard to stop last year, yet this year they also have U/19 players but didnt impress as much.
    Creating a super league schools where only U/19 players compete is far fetched. Schools are still schools, they have calendars and budgets and traditional fixtures. Sometimes you will get those exceptional teams with a few U/19 players that make a great season
    Garsfontein
    Eg
    Welkom
    They have all had them and achieved great results, but Im sure if you look at the Top 10 schools over the last 20 years the deciding factor will not have been U/19 players in the team. Those schools all have a proper rugby program that they run.

    We also cant have everything, we complain we dont have the proper local Derbies anymore, but on the other hand we complain about the miss matches and high scores, so should a school investing in a rugby program now compensate to keep the score lower against a school who doesnt invest in a rugby program ?

    Will we be saying that all the good math kids will need to go to one school because they are making the kids that are not as good in maths demotivated ?

    And lastly, there is a rule for U/19 players. No scholar who has sat down for his matric exam (even if he failed or past matric) is allowed to go back to school to repeat grade 12 and play rugby. Thus schools having U/19 players have Either
    – taken them out of their grade 12 year and enrolled them back in to grade 11
    – the player has been kept back in a lower grade
    – the player has just always been enrolled a year late into school from grade 1.

    For an example, a player can turn 19 on 31 December the he will be an U/19 player this year.
    Another boy can turn 18 on 1 January and he will be an U/18 player this year. But the one player will only be 1 day older then the other, will that be fair to say that he cant play in that season ?

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  21. @kantako: The super league is not just for u 19 players. The entire school would be in the super league. Grey College , Paarl Boys , Paul Roos , Paarl Gym , Monnas , Garsfontein , Glenwood , Grey High and however many more . At least then its strength versus strength.

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  22. @wrecked so Garsfontein getting thumped 84-0 by Gim is strength vs strength? Stellenberg beat Monnas and Dostdy lost with 1 point against Monnas ? Of you include Stellenberg and Drostdy in your super league they wil 8 out of 10 seasons take big hidings from Grey, Gim, HJs etc.

    The top rugby schools do play each other every year. In amy given year these top schools meet a few of each other Grey, Gim, HJs, PRG, Monnas, Garsfontein, Menlo, Affies in either local fixtures, Wildeklawer or N/S.

    The schools from the North will again between each other have some super seasons where they wil give Grey a go and then again have seasons where they wish for rain and thunderstorms instead of playing Grey.

    There was some amazing games of rugby and lets support that and not try and fix what is not broken. In the Boks team that won the RWC in 2019, I wonder how many players was from super league schools and how many from “second division schools” would be a good stat to see

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  23. @wrecked even worse my friend. I think the U/16 team of this year from Monnas,when they were U/14 when they last played they won the Virsekerbeker. They got 60 against Grey U/16 this year.

    The grade 12 group from this year, when they last played in 2019 as U/16 the Virsekerbeker final was between Noordheuwel and HTS Middelburg, which Middelburg won by 4 points, yet that same year Noordheuwel A teams lost against the Grey B teams by huge scores. And in 2019 all teams from Helpmekaar lost by big scores against Affies, yet Helpmekaar was crowned overall rugby school of Virseker.

    The Top 10 schools have provincial players in their C teams. By the way in the under age group level all boys are thr same age, so that rules out the impact of older players.

    But the Super schools also loose some games, its not every year that you see a perfect season, with the exception of that great 3 year run from HJS with Sean Erasmus.

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  24. Some of the best memories were travelling early in the morning on the buses to the southern suburb schools to play against the souties on some of the most beautiful manicured fields. Would be a shame if these matches are discontinued, though I doubt it. These schools have proud rugby traditions and are attracting players from different sectors, eg Bishops would probably have been one of the strongest teams last year in the Cape. The reason the SL failed was bc it dawned on the powers in England that it was more favourable to the Spanish and Italian teams than the Premier League, who has a far more competitive league that attracts world wide audience (and of course gambling…). Using the same analysis, there will be no need for the Cape schools to share “their product”. It is more in the interest of schools that are the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid – all dressed up, but nowhere to go.

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  25. Sal interesant wees om te weet hoeveel o/19 spelers die bekende rugby skole het? As dit nou so aanvaarbaar is sal die bloggers seker nie omgee om te deel nie.

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  26. @Wonder: ek dink elke skool het maar n paar ,gewoonlik sal jy sien dis outjies wat laat in die jaar verjaar so dan hou die ouers hulle gewoonlik terug in gr 1 wat dan beteken dat hy reeds 7 is as hy skool toe gaan en dan in gr 7 o14 is en gr 12 019

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  27. @Smallies: Ja,maar in die verlede is skole uitgehaal oor die 0/19 spelers. Nou lyk dit vir my is dit aanvaarbaar agv Covid. Nee wat,ek kan nie saam stem met sulke besluite nie.

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  28. @wonder ek kan nie sien hkm skole uitgehaal is oor dit nie. Dit is tog binne die reels. Die skole rugby is O/19, selfs Boksmart maak spesiale voorsiening vir O/17 spelers in die voorry om afgeteken te word omdat dit n O/19 “liga” is.

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  29. Hoe werk die O/19 situasie die VersekerBeker spanne? As ek reg onthou was O/19’s nie toegelaat in 2019 nie.

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  30. @BlouLou: I don’t think there are any restrictions on u19s. Just the youth weeks and the old Tuks Reeks are limited to u18 players only

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  31. @beet: Also, the ISRF….plus, I seem to remember that there is a headmasters’ agreement in place re transferring u19s in Natal?

    Personally, I think that schools should be limited to a maximum number of u19s – e.g. three.

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  32. @Vleis: It is such a difficult matter really. I think every case should be decided individually as there are so many exception to a general rule.

    I think in the past many felt comfortable with 5 years of high school eligibility. So boys who start HS late are not adversely affected.

    Although the intention was right KZN ended up with some really unfortunate situations as a consequence of rigid rules and a lack of understanding of these rules.

    Then in Gauteng I recall how a CW player who was u18 in matric was prohibited from playing at all because he had written matric the year before as an u17, this while u19 boys were free to play due to being 1st time matriculants.

    I even came across an instance recently where a player had gone back to Gr 11 from Gr 12 last year, just so he could be eligible to play for his new school in 2021 as an u19.

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  33. I was wondering. Why would a star player like 2019/2020 Monument flyhalf who would get massive further exposure playing for them transfer to another school in a different province ? Most transfers seem to be boys moving to a bigger more high profile school. What is the incentive ?

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  34. @beet: Agreed, which is why a set maximum number of u19s (e.g. two or three) would enable the schools to do away with all the other convoluted rules. It would also reduce the rampant u19 recruiting. The Varsity Cup limits two graduate transfers in the match day 23 per team. Undergraduate transfers must miss a whole season, which is a bit harsh for SBR…but perhaps school transfers could miss two or three matches? These laws would not deter a boy who is genuinely fed up with his current school or whose parents have moved, etc…but they would make many others think twice before transferring at the drop of a hat.

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  35. @Vleis: Its easy to fix,a biy and his parents must commit for a full year to a school ,they should nit be allowed to tranfere mid season exept when parents relocate….

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  36. @BlouLou: Sover my kennis strek is die Virseker reel dat indien ‘n u19 speler die vorige jaar in Graad 12 was mag hy nie speel. Indien hy vorige jaar in Graad 11 was mag hy wel deelneem.

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  37. @Leelu: by my dogter se skool op Aliwal Noord was die reel ook gewees dat indien n seun gr 12 first team gespeel het en hy herhaal gr 12 kan hy tweede span speel maar nie eerstes nie ,so hy kry nie twee happoes van die selfde stuk koek nie

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  38. @Leelu: Indien jy reg is gaan die twee spanne met 10 en 7 0/19 spelers moeilikheid hรช.๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

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  39. @Smallies: Sure, but my proposals above refer to transfers at the end of the season. I don’t think that it’s in anyone’s best interest to have too many u19s in a team, or to have too many transfers in other age groups. I don’t have a problem with recruitment per se, but things seem to be out of control at the moment.

    PS no probs re the spelling :lol:

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  40. @Vleis: my personal opinion ….if the boy is a first time Matriculant who played gr10 and 11 in a different school then it is fine ,howรจver if he is repeating matrick or gr 11 for the sake of playing for a different school then he should not be allowed to play…

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  41. @Leelu: Ek het spesifiek daarna gaan kyk… dis net as jy reeds ‘n matriek sertifikaat het, dan mag jy nie speel nie…

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  42. @rugbyman is dit nie selfs al het jy matriek gedruip ook nie. As jy geregistreer was vir jou eindeksamen dan kan jy nie die volgende jaar weer skooltoe gaan nie ?

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  43. @kantako: Hier is die quote uit die reglement:

    “Alle spelers moet bona fide leerlinge van skole of geregistreerde lede van Jeugklubs wees. Indien โ€˜n speler nie โ€˜n bona fide leerling van โ€˜n skool is nie en daar is nie โ€˜n bona fide geregistreerde Jeugklub in sy woonomgewing nie, mag die leerling met die toestemming van die Hoof en Beheerliggaam van die skool speel, mits hy aan die vereistes voldoen en nie reeds โ€˜n matrieksertifikaat verwerf het nie.

    โ€˜n Bona Fide leerling is โ€˜n kind wat by โ€˜n gewone Openbare skool of geregistreerde Privaat Skool ingeskryf is en aanvaar is en minstens sewe vakke aanbied in die VOO fase of 9 vakke in die AOO fase.

    3.2ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  Alle deelnemers aan die Eerstespan Kompetisie moet 19 [negentien] jaar of jonger wees in die jaar waarin die kompetisie plaasvind.”

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  44. @beet: Its going to be a difficult year for Valke Craven Week teams, since EG did not recruit (I might be wrong) new U/18 talents for 2021 but rather kept their 2020 investments for another year, although they may not play Craven Week. Now only 3 Schools to choose from for Valke!?! :lol:

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  45. @BlouLou: wow how things have changed when I was still in that area the Valke used to have more then 40 schools playing rugby, now only 3. What happened??

    Or are you suggesting that no other boy in any other school is good enough to play Cravenweek unless he goes to EG ? Those boys you are referring to are still there, and they still play rugby, and they can still play for the Valke Craven week, just not representing EG Jansen this year. Didnt Beet to a blog about a boy from Dr Malan in Meyerton.

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  46. @kantako: Baie skole aan die Oos Rand en Vereniging area wat uit gekies kan word dalk nie almal so bekend soos EG nie ,maar guess what daar was n tyd toe EG ook nie regtig die shit was nie….

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  47. @Smallies: @kantako: my post is meer sinies en dalk bietjie sarkasties. Die CW keurders raak lui en maak baie keer staat op skole om die talent te identifiseer eerder as om self die talent te vind by die kleiner skole.(waar kom die geneightheid vandaan dat soveel talentvolle seuns liewers na die groter rugby skole moet gaan om raakgesien te word maar eers in hulle graad 10 tot 12jaar?)

    Dan natuurlik die pasella dat spelers wat uit ander westelike provinsies gewerf word (eerder as plaaslik) dit nog makliker vir hulle maak om meer na die groter rugby skole te kyk vir talent. As enige skool gereel 3, 4 of selfs 5 spelers lewer vir die CW span in enige gegewe jaar en skielik is sy hele span nie meer beskikbaar nie moet daar nou harder gewerk word om die talent by die ander skole te ontdek.(of die span gaan maar net meer sukkel)

    Ons sien dieselfde ding ook hier bo die rivier soms gebeur.

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  48. All School sport must be U18 to stop kids moving schools. If they want to do post matric no problem, pay your school fees and go play u20 club rugby. Every dad thinks their kid will be the next springbok however the odds of making a living out of rugby maybe 1 in a 100 shot. There is enough U18 talent, we don’t need to see bloubaarde on the field as well.

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  49. @joekim: ๐Ÿ‘ŒAgree 100%
    The only exception a boy that was held back at grade 1.

    It will assist keeping SBR pure.

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