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Sport
Varsity and schools 7s rugby bonanza this weekend

Varsity 7s and School Sports 7s bring a rugby celebration to Johannesburg this year from 5-6 October at the Pirates Rugby Club.

Varsity Sports has invited School Sports to host its inaugural national Schools 7s championships at the Varsity 7s tournament, creating a sevens bonanza unlike anything Johannesburg has ever seen.

The competing universities were decided at this year’s USSA championships (University Sports South Africa) in September.

The top 10 teams going through to the Varsity 7s will focus on claiming the trophy from defending champions UJ (The University of Johannesburg).

The high school teams who compete at the Schools 7s championships were chosen via the weekly u-17 provincial schools 7s series from 31 August to 15 September, when approximately 290 schools from across the country took part. These schools represent the SA Rugby Unions – Blue Bulls, Boland, Border, Cheetahs, Eastern Province, Falcons, Golden Lions, Griffons, Griquas, Leopards, Limpopo Blue Bulls, Pumas, Sharks, SWD Eagles and Western Province.

Varsity 7s manager Xhanti-Lomzi Nesi believes this celebration of sevens rugby will smooth the road for players who are progressing from high school to university-level rugby.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to create the biggest youth sevens tournament in South Africa,” he said.

“We believe this tournament will develop an eco-system between the schools and universities as we see these players go from grassroots to greatness.

“The double-header tournament is sure to further develop South Africa’s rich rugby talent and lead to a new generation of South African sevens legends.”

Nesi thanked the generous sponsors for their continued support.

“We extend our sincerest gratitude to our wonderful sponsors for Varsity 7s,” he said. “These are FNB, Samsung and Steers as well as our sponsors for Schools 7s, Twizza and KeyHealth Medical Scheme.

“Their buy-in to the South African sporting dream allows these two exceptional tournaments to take place.”

Sasra (South African Schools Rugby Association) chair Noël Ingle is ecstatic about partnering with Varsity 7s for this rugby bonanza.

“SA Schools Rugby Association is excited that we are nearing the National Schools Sevens Inter Provincial Tournament. It is the first of its kind, and is unique in that it gives schools across the country an opportunity to compete at a national level.

Sevens, by nature, levels the playing fields, allowing smaller schools to be competitive. It will be a wonderful showcase of the talent and skill level of our youth.”

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