This article was published on June 23rd, 2014
Thorneycroft Solicitors is proud to sponsor once again King’s School rugby as they depart on a tour of South Africa.
On Wednesday 23rd July, 52 pupils and 5 Staff and 1 Sports Therapist will embark on a two and a half week rugby tour of South Africa playing 10 games across the country,
starting in Pretoria and Johannesburg, flying to Port Elizabeth and then along the Garden Route, before finishing in the beautiful city of Cape Town. The boys will play some of the biggest rugby playing schools in South Africa, like Paul Roos Gymnasium and Jeppe High School for Boys. In stark contrast one of these games will be in a deprived township and as part of the experience the boys will also be coaching rugby to Primary age children and helping the ‘United Through Sport’ Charity.
Whilst in South Africa they will also train and stay at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria, visit the world famous Apartheid Centre, have a look at the Loftus Versfeld rugb y stadium, spend 2 days in the Kariega Game Reserve before paying a visit to both Robben Island and Table Mountain.
The tour, which has been 18 months in the planning, will allow the boys to test themselves against some of the most prestigious South African rugby playing schools and in front of hundreds of spectators. Whilst touring is nothing new to these boys, the aggression and physicality the South Africans play with, will be a whole new experience for many and should only serve to give the boys a superb rugby playing experience! This is the first tour that King’s have taken a Sports Therapist and whilst we hope he isn’t used too much, inevitably there will be injuries and therefore we felt we needed an expert on hand to diagnose, treat and provide rehab support for the injured players.
From small acorns grow great oak trees and it was only two years ago when King’s toured Canada, and played 10, won 9, scored 397 points and conceded just 68. This provided the perfect spring-board for one of the schools best ever 1st XV seasons! In fact when King’s touched down from Vancouver in August of 2012 they hosted their annual 1st XV Pre-season Festival and then didn’t lose a match until late February in 2013! The season was such a success they were voted the Rugby World Team of the Month for October and finished 2nd in the Daily Mail school rankings – the highest place for a non-scholarship day school since the rankings began 7 years previous.
Can the class of 2014 emulate the same achievements? Well they’ve got the talent and the ability and they’ve all had to work exceptionally hard to be on tour – for some they have had to fund-raise and get part time jobs to raise in excess of £2700, no small feat in today’s financial environment and the help and support that many of the local Cheshire business sponsors have provided has been first class! In fact Thorneycroft’s Solicitors have been the main kit sponsors at King’s for 4 years now and have just agreed to sponsor all the playing kit for the tour and continue to be one of the school’s biggest rugby supporters.
The boys at King’s know how hard the rugby will be whilst on tour, but they also appreciate what a superb experience this presents and for some it will be the last time they play rugby for the school – the end of a 9 year rugby playing journey! As they move onto pastures new let’s hope they do so with some fantastic memories, experiences and friendships that will last a lifetime, as it will take all the King’s men to tame the South African Springbok.