Varsity Cup aims for 100% students

The FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International will be phasing out all non-students during this season ahead of the 2015 competition.

At present, 20 of the 23 players in the matchday squads are required to be full-time students, but this will be changed from next season with all competing universities having to sign off on this – by their registrars and external auditors – before the start of the new season.

According to Varsity Cup CEO Duitser Bosman, the Varsity Cup Board met with university registrars, directors of sport and vice rectors to map a way forward – given that some universities offer degrees, whilst others offer diplomas and certificates as well.

Bosman explained that this solution, coupled with a new minimum pass-rate of one’s subjects was the best and fairest way forward, plus it gives the players more to aim for – both on and off the field of play.

“The wonderful principle that is vested now, is that the coach of the player will also be his academic coach, because it is in the interest of the coach that his player passes his subjects,” said Bosman.

“In the future a player will get his university qualification because he wants to play rugby.”

Bosman also explained at the launch event on Monday "When the Varsity Cup started virtually all varsity clubs were open clubs with many non bona fide student players, so we had to phase in the bona fide student numbers to allow for a competitive tournament from the start." 2015 will mark the completion of this process. 

Meanwhile, the Varsity Young Guns competition – the U20 tournament has had a 100% student requirement from the get go in 2012 feeding student talent into the open divisions. 

For UCT this means a more even playing field going forward as the focus is and always has been on academic performance, alongside high performance rugby. 

Tigers rout UWC in warm up

The new look Ikey Tigers team at last got to put their hard pre-season work to the test, when they took on UWC at the University of the Western Cape earlier in the week and came away with a convincing 60:21 victory. 

UWC of course are a Varsity Shield side looking to challenge for promotion to the top flight in this crucial 2014 VC promotion, relegation season and have also been promoted to the WP Super League A. 

Ikeys head coach Kevin Musikanth was happy with this first match contact effort and played the full squad of virtually two full UCT teams who all got a run in the game. 

"We have a few strong players nursing injuries, so I expect further improvement in the next few weeks" he commented.

The Ikeys now embark on a pre-season tour to Plett where they will take on provincial outfits SWD Eagles on Monday night (20th January 8pm) and the EP Kings on Friday (24th January 4pm). Then it is time for what Musikanth labelled "the ultimate challenge". 

When asked by SA rugby mag about the goals for the Varsity Cup the Ikeys Director of Rugby said "Any coach who says he doesn't want his team to win the Varsity Cup would be lying, so that is the ultimate goal, but when climbing a mountain one cannot always be focused on the peak; you need to tread carefully forward with each step. So initially our goal would be to win the first match against Pukke, then regroup and look at the game that follows against Maties. And who wouldn't want to beat them." 

Tickets for the Varsity Cup opener on Monday 3rd of Feb at 17.00 are available on webtickets – click here to get yours.  



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