Colts (u13-u18) Youth Club Rugby season starts

The Colts club rugby season gets underway with a few fixtures against inbound touring UK schools and clubs before the regular league season kicks off. Clubs participating in the league include Amabhubesi, Amanzimtoti, Ballito, Collegians, Crusaders, Pinetown, Harlequins, Newlands East Brumbies, Varsity College, Hillcrest and Queensburgh. There is also an under-6 to under-11 season that runs from April to June (during the 2nd school term) every year.

The Colts season extends from July to September (3rd term) every year.  Colts trials are then held at the beginning of September and the teams selected (U13, U14, U15, U16 and U18) play in the Inter-provincial Tournament (IPT), which will be held at Barnard stadium in Kempton Park at the beginning of October this year.  B teams are also selected and they play against the Blue Bulls and Pretoria Harlequins in Durban the weekend after the IPT.  Other teams taking part in the IPT include the Blue Bulls, Leopards, Cheetahs, Griffons, Valke, Lions Invitational as well as a Valke Invitational.  This allows those selected the opportunity to play against quality provincial sides (remembering that many of these boys will not necessarily be selected for Craven Week or Grant Khomo). The IPT is also the largest SBR tournament in South Africa with an estimated 750 boys taking part.

Youth club rugby has been around for many seasons. However it is just in the last few years that things have really started to take shape and now there is a very creditable structure in place. In 2009 an official league was established. The Durban Rugby Sub-Union Youth Club Association (DRSUYCA) oversees the league and the game in general. It has a very stringent set of rules and regulations which govern all competitions or games held under their auspices.  The prevailing idea is that if the players are taught to play the game properly and within the confines of the rules, they will be less inclined to break these rules when they play as seniors.  All IRB and SARU rules and regulations are strictly adhered to and there are stringent penalties for players and/or clubs who contravene.  Players from U13 to U18 (as well as coaches, parents and any other officials) who receive red cards or who are charged with misconduct, are subject to a full DRSU disciplinary enquiry and penalties as per IRB guidelines. Coaches and officials from all member clubs are required to have completed Boksmart and all coaches must be at least IRB Level 1 certified.

This high level of organisation is not just limited to the local youth club rugby scene. In 2011, the chairpersons of the unions taking part in IPT held a meeting and resolved to establish the SA Youth Club Rugby Association.  The purpose of this association was to ensure that all clubs belonging to member unions play according to the same set of rules and regulations (which were drawn up and agreed to by all unions).

The main aim of youth club rugby in Durban is to ensure that a culture of belonging to a club is established. The DRSUYCA believes that if a player has been playing at a club from the age of 6, it makes the transition to under-20 and senior club rugby much easier.  This will create a sustainable club rugby system and improve the numbers of players.

In 2011, SAFAL Steel announced that they would be the Title Sponsor of the DRSUYCA Leagues and pledged R150 000 to the development of youth rugby.

Many thanks to NW_Knight for this contribution.


  1. teams so far in , it might Change

    U13A U13B U15A U15B U16 U18 Total by Club
    Amanzimtoti 1 1 1 1 4
    Ballito 1 1 2 4
    Collegians 1 1 1 1 1 5
    Crusaders 1 1 1 3
    Varsity College 1 1 1 3
    Harlequins 1 1 1 1 4
    Hillcrest 1 1 1 1 4
    Pinetown 1 1 2
    Queensburgh 1 1 1 3
    Total by Age Group 5 5 4 5 6 7 32

  2. Seven of this years Grant Khomo squad came through these club structures with only 1 of those 7 being in the CW Under 13 team – for players with age group provincial aspirations, this is the place to be.

    Only problem is that poaching of players in this setup is far more aggressive than in SBR.

  3. @Pedantic – I don’t believe it’s such a huge problem. If someone wants to move between clubs, it’s their prerogative. Clubs are limited to 2 teams per age group, thus curtailing the creation of “super clubs”. there are always boys that believe it’s better to play for the club that’s seen to be the best, but results show that the silverware is not all in one showcase.

  4. @NW_Knight: With regards to 2 teams per age group – Schools can only enter one 1st XV but they still recruit the best players they can :)

    It seems to be settling down now but in the not too distant past only 4 clubs really cultivated juniors – Amanzimtoti, Crusaders, Hillcrest & Pinetown – When the “big boys” (Collegians) stepped onto the playground they understandably had to recruit youngsters from somewhere and now with Varsity College, Ballito and Rovers entering the fray it’s getting more and more difficult to hang onto the youngsters that have been developed from a very young age.

    It would be interesting to know how many years the longest serving junior has been at a single club – at Hillcrest it’s 10 years (U6 to U15) with several currently in their 9th year.

  5. Speaking around to some of the members in Youth Rugby, there seems to be the consensus that it sis bottled necked and needs to explore ways of “growing” how this is achieved I hear is being discussed under heated debate at the Meetings.
    Youth Rugby certainly has grown and it opens doors for many others boys, it can certainly assist players from none Tier one schools and boys who are in the B and 2nd teams to put their hands up . Obviously the gain great experience but are also viewed differently than the school coaches, No disrespect to school coaches , but I have seen the level of Coaching and initiative from the Club set up to be far more dynamic, if that’s the right word,
    The question is how to expand it with all these limitations on two teams, as I read above, surely this excludes players and the size a club can get to . this combined with the fact that it is extremely onerous for Club to form, at this level, I did a quick check, and one has to be affiliated to a senior club and all the politics that go there, then there are the costs and the requirements for a venue and then the non-interest of the Seniors clubs in Youth Rugby,
    For me the suggestion would be to obviously try and keep the “tournaments” all at one venue each weekend, but one needs to expand the base of Youth Clubs un-incumbent by the Senior Club , Rules and structures can still be maintained, but the Youth Club needs to take the next step up , if it needs to compete with schools at the same level of participation .
    Everyone has seen the crowds drawn at a Tier One 1 school match and the same needs to be done at Club Level, and to build Youth Rugby , the Committee needs to show the Public a more visible appearance. By doing this you will alert the young boys at ALL SCHOOLS, and the Clubs can grow.
    Remembering that the KZN structures will need to come forward to assist, Transport being a big problem for these boys , if we want to grow it , money has to be allocated to Clubs for transport and I would suggest that R 15 000.00 amongst the Clubs ( I think there are 12 ) is not too much to pay from a KZNRU perspective , this allocation to each club should be based on a season and number of Players . To assume that only the Black players battle with Transport is a misconception, plenty boys would play , but mom or dad are working on a Sunday or night of training , so a effective system of getting the boys to training would grow the sport , and really what is R 180 000.00 to KZNRU for the possible expansion of the game, My Humble predication is that, should this approach be adopted you would see a doubling in numbers at least 3 or more new Club start up , if unhindered by all the red tape of being with Senior Club.
    The Approach should be more on that as a feeder system , same as Junior schools into High Schools, not all Junior Schools have High schools, and the reasons should be that this is adopted at schools why not the Clubs

  6. @Greenhopper: My U13 team reached the league final last year which turned into a spectacle of note with neither team asking or giving an inch for until the last quarter where the result was decided. One of my players’ fathers who is an ex captain of Maritzburg College remarked to me that that final was of a higher quality and intenstity than what is argueably the premier primary schools match of the season in KZN – namely Highbury vs DPHS.

  7. I think school rugby dilutes these boys somewhat and has preconceived ideas going into a season. One just has to go to the tournament day to see the organization and intensity as well as the good vibe

    Question now is how to sustain this whilst growing it , and BIG boys at Natal Rugby need to realize this and come on board

  8. @greenblooded
    hhmm. i always thought that the big primary schools match of the season in kzn was Glenwood Prep vs DPHS but hey things change

  9. @Fly: You are probably correct there. Highbury not doing too well this season but I would say generally over the years that would be the big one. In fact I think Highbury got thumped by more than 60 pts in this year’s encounter if I remember correctly.

  10. They were beaten by Chelsea as well – must have been that awesome flyhalf / center / fullback (can’t remember what position he played that day)! :mrgreen:

  11. A major advantage at Club rugby vs school rugby is that there are no or very few bursaries offered at club so the club is not looking for a return on its investment. My experience has been that club rugby players are chosen a lot more on current ability than on past achievements. Speaking to the boys, they also say they feel freer in club where they are allowed to try different techniques etc that are not allowed at school levels. They have also mentioned that, while they want to go to IPT, there is a lot less pressure in general in their rugby.

    By the way, HVJR’s longest serving member was Cody Thomas who was with us for 10 years last year (he started at 4 years old) – he has now gone to Collegians :cry:


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