Rhodes back in for Varsity CupDate Released: Sun, 12 August 2012 08:00 +0200
This would give them another chance to be selected for provincial sides. Previously, players were considered only if they were at rugby academies. According to Chase Le Roux, the chairperson of Rhodes Rugby, Pienaar then approached South Africa's top rugby universities, as well as other institutions that were not as well-funded. He aimed to secure sponsorship for these university teams to improve their sporting performance and facilities.
Rhodes University didn't receive a scholarship, which meant that they had to prove themselves by making it into the Varsity Shield before being allowed to compete in the Varsity Cup. "We began our drive to make it into the Varsity Shield last year by making noise at the 2011 annual USSA (University Sports South Africa) Tournament. There we won two out of the three games we played," said Le Roux. But in order for Rhodes Rugby to make it into the Varsity Shield, they were told they first needed to compete in the Adams Cup. "
We need to prove ourselves as a rugby club, get support for Rhodes and its students and win games as well as the tournaments we compete in," said Le Roux. If they achieve this and win their games in the Adams Cup, they will be entered into the Varsity Shield. Super League matches began on Saturday, but Rhodes didn't play, because, according to Le Roux, they were unable to get a team together at such short notice. Rhodes University's Rugby Club may soon be participating in the FNB Varsity Shield - if they win all their games in the provincial league, the Adams Cup.
Rhodes is back in the Adams Cup, having been booted out last year for failing to honour their fixtures during the holiday. Although three teams are needed in order to compete, the EP Rugby officials accepted only two Rhodes sides. "We will be playing friendlies in the first leg of the Adams Cup and in the next leg we will be playing fixtures," said Melissa Awu, coordinator of Rhodes rugby.
However, there are certain requirements involved. Media officer for the Eastern Province Kings Rugby Union, Thobile Hans, said; last year, "If they manage to satisfy the Eastern Province conditions, which are honouring all the friendly matches, then next year they'll be reinstated into the Adams Cup." The Varsity Cup came about through ex-Springbok Rugby captain, Francois Pienaar.
The competition was a way to allow players who did not make it into provincial teams after high school to still play high-level rugby during their tertiary studies. "We need to prove ourselves as a rugby club, get support for Rhodes and its students, and win games as well as the tournaments we compete in" Melissa Awu, Rhodes University's rugby co-ordinator.