Home » Sports » Schools Rugby Festival Gets Underway

THE Prince Edward School rugby festival is set to get underway on Monday under a new name and new structure.

Now known as the Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival, the week- long rugby jamboree is set to be graced by legendary former Sables and Springbok coach Ian McIntosh, International Rugby Board vice-president Oregan Hoskins and Springboks prop Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira.

A fewer number of teams is expected to take part in this year’s edition of the festival and PE sports director Sebastian Garikai said this was because they want to improve on the quality and standard of the festival.

“The reason we have reduced the number of teams that take part in the festival is that we want to improve on the quality of competition rather than focus on quantity and the criteria we used was based on set regulations.

“Firstly we did not punish but reprimanded teams or schools that used over-aged players, we are trying to get discipline and have both a manageable number of teams and have the highest grade of competition.

“This is why we are encouraging the over-aged players to take part in the coaching clinics because we have everything for everyone from players to coaches,” said the Zimbabwe Under-17 assistant coach.

Last year’s festival was marred by indiscipline but Garikai has promised a cleaner, more secure and decent event as they try to safeguard not only the sponsors name but also that of the game and the school.

“The coaches are going to have an opportunity to spend time and get rugby wisdom from McIntosh and Godwin Murambiwa in the development of players and coaches in the game.

“We are also encouraging the schoolboys to take part in the IRB Level I coaching course especially those that are older and not eligible to take part in the Under-18 games.

“At the same time McIntosh will offer defence and attack strategy courses in the morning and afternoon and anyone can take part in this for free because we want the game to grow.

“The festival is also a perfect platform that coaches can relate to what they would have learnt at the coaching courses to the games and we are expecting around 300 persons to take part in these developmental courses,” said Garikai.

But it is on the field of play that most of the interest will be focused on and with three regional teams taking part, a more compact fixture programme and top-of-the-range games set the festival this year’s festival is tipped to be one of the best ever.

And as per tradition, Monday, Wednesday and Friday have been reserved for the upcoming schools while Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday have been set aside for the traditional rugby-playing schools who usually dominate the junior national sides.

And it is on these days that the likes of Churchill School, hosts Prince Edward, St Georges College, Peterhouse, St John’s College, Falcon College and emerging giants in the form of Kyle College and Eaglesvale School play.

Source : The Herald