The Varsity Rugby 7s is heading to Durban along with Varsity Beach Volleyball where Kings Park will host an electrifying weekend of university sport on the 1st to the 3rd of December.
The Central University of Technology and the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal are the new boys on the block as they replace the University of Fort Hare and Walter Sisulu University respectively.
CUT will draw from their 15s experience against the top university sides in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International, but it will be their first appearance at the Varsity 7s tournament and CUT 7s Head Coach, Reinhardt Erwee, is quietly optimistic about his team’s chances.
“This is going to be a massive learning curve for us as we had a mixed bag of results at the USSA Week. We have really worked hard on our skills and conditioning which will allow us to surprise a few teams,” said Erwee.
UKZN will have their work cut out for them as the only side they have experience playing against is their fellow Varsity Shield team and losing 2016 Varsity 7s finalists, the University of the Western Cape but UKZN Head of Rugby, Donald Ngwenya, is adamant that they are not just there to make up the numbers.
“We are really happy that we qualified for the Varsity 7s off the back of a strong USSA Week. We are under no illusions about our chances against the bigger universities,” said Ngwenya. “Having said that, 7s is a completely different ballgame and we have the depth in our squad to challenge the likes of the bigger universities. We are playing to win,” he added.
Another team looking to make a mark this season is the University of Cape Town, who finished last year’s Varsity 7s tournament with a win over Madibaz to claim the bowl final, but the proud university is determined to finish higher in Durban later this year according to UCT 7s Head Coach, Michael Muller.
“We went into last year’s tournament a bit raw. We have a stronger core group of players this year and a nice balance between experience and youth. We have put in a few more matches as well which should help us do better,” said Muller.
Be sure to catch all the action live on SuperSport as the next generation of sevens stars do battle in Durban at the Varsity 7s tournament. Proudly brought to you by First National Bank, Steers and Samsung.
By Dan Lombard