SA's Premier School Rugby showcase
Craven Week & Academy Week: The birthplace of future stars!
Craven Week and Academy Week…is one better than the other?
There’s a misconception that playing Craven Week is better than playing Academy Week. In theory Craven Week is the more prestigious tournament, but Academy Week is where a lot of hidden gems are discovered as some of the players are overlooked by Craven Week selectors for various reasons. Both tournaments provide players the opportunity to show their talents to scouts for professional teams and universities alike. All in all, being selected for either tournament is an honour that many schoolboy rugby players in South Africa don’t get to achieve. Many of our greatest Boks weren’t given the opportunity to play Craven Week or Academy Week, so as great as a platform that it is, it is also not the be-all and end-all in one’s career.
On one hand, there’s the current Springbok captain, Siya Kolisi who represented Eastern Province at Craven Week in 2008 and 2009 and on the other, Jean de Villiers who before becoming a Springbok captain and test centurion represented Western Province at Academy Week. Two cases that prove that it doesn’t matter what tournament you play at, but rather what you make of the opportunity given.
The 2023 U18 Craven will be held at Outeniqua Park in George and the U18 Academy Week will be at Jeppe High School for Boys in Johannesburg, both will run from 3 - 8 July 2023.
Watch Schoolboy rugby’s hidden gems
🎥 Coach Kooks chats with Grey College 1st XV captain JJ Theron to get the insights of one of the key players in this week's Craven Week tournament.
Catch all the thrilling action on SuperSport 211 (Craven Week), or SuperSport 216 (Academy Week and Craven Week).🏉
— SuperSport Schools (@ss_schools)
Jul 4, 2023
Team & Tournament News
The Rules are the Rules?
An incident that sparked heated debate among South Africans last week, was the news of Western Province’s Grant Khomo side getting booted from the unofficial final due to not fielding enough players of colour in their win against the Blue Bulls. The Bulls went on to replace Western Province in the final against the Cheetahs and beat them to win the Grant Khomo Week tournament.
SARU rules state that in a squad of 23, that 11 players must be ‘of colour’ to meet the Transformation requirements. Two black players in the Western Province side suffered injuries in their first game and were replaced by white players, meaning Western Province failed to meet their Transformation requirements. Many people were upset sharing the sentiment that children born in 2007 have nothing to do with the legacy of Apartheid South Africa and therefore should not be punished for it…which is true, but is this about punishing the players or correcting a country and rugby union that has a history of racism and discrimination?
In a country where 92% of the population is non-white and particularly in the Western Cape, where it’s 83% of the population, some may ask how it is possible that two players of colour could not be selected to replace the boys who got injured? In theory, the Quota System is not in place to punish the players, but rather an attempt to correct the wrongs of the past by giving everyone an equal opportunity and by encouraging the selection of those who weren’t given a fair chance to show their talents due to the discriminatory systems in place. It has recently become evident that number of non-white players playing professional rugby in South Africa has grown, which suggests the talent is there and when given the chance, non-white players are just as good as their white counterparts.
Where majority of South Africans are non-white, is 11 out of 23 players even enough to truly represent the demographic of provincial and national sides? Perhaps the question we should be asking is, how are mistakes and failures to meet requirements like this being made by management and selectors?
Where there’s a Will, there’s a Way!
SARU were forced into some last minute scrambling for venues, as the 2023 Stadio U18 Craven Week has been moved from Hoerskool Outeniqua to Outeniqua Park in George, as heavy rains have damaged fields in the Western Cape. The torunament will keep its original date of 3-8 July 2023. The U16 Grant Khomo Week also had to be moved from Markotter Field at Paul Roos to Boland Landbou due to flooded fields.
Rugby isn’t always flattering on the eye 😅⛈️ #schoolrugby #schoolboyrugby #rugbytok #rugbyboys #rugby #mud #paulroos #sacsrugby
The SARU U18 and U16 Girls Weeks will be taking place at Jeppe High School for Boys from 9 - 13 July. Where many of the next generation of Springbok Women will get a taste of Provincial Rugby. A great way to grow the game among women and give them exposure to rugby at younger ages
Featured Provincial highlights
Catch all the action LIVE on channel 211!
The U18 Academy Week will also be LIVE on SuperSport Schools channel 216 from Jeppe High School for Boys in Johannesburg at the same time as Craven Week.
Stadio U18 Craven Week