It will be ladies first as SA Rugby’s annual Youth Weeks series – where close to 3000 players will showcase their skills in six tournaments across four venues around the country – kick off next month with the U16 and U18 Girls Week tournaments in Johannesburg.
The fixtures for the two Girls Weeks, as well as the Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN) Week – which will trigger a thrilling three-week spectacle of junior rugby – were announced by SA Rugby on Wednesday.
The two Girls Weeks will run concurrently at Jeppe High School in Johannesburg, from Monday 17 to Friday 21 June, while the LSEN Week takes place at Sentraal High School in Bloemfontein, from 17 to 20 June.
These weeks will be followed by the U13 SA Rugby Craven Week and U16 SA Rugby Grant Khomo Week a week later at Rob Ferreira High School in White River.
The final week of the popular schools rugby showcase will see the top Under-18 players in the country take to the field at Grey College in Bloemfontein in the flagship event, the U18 SA Rugby Craven Week, and the SA Rugby Academy Week, which will play out from Monday 1 to Saturday 6 July.
This year will be the second that the U16 and U18 SA Rugby Girls Weeks will be hosted at Jeppe High School, with the Leopards and Pumas (A-field), and Griquas and Limpopo (B-field) facing off in the opening games of the U16 tournament on Monday, 17 June.
The day’s play will feature a handful of gripping clashes, with the Golden Lions and Griffons going head-to-head, and 2018’s top team, the KwaZulu-Natal will meet Eastern Province in what promises to be another humdinger after a close battle in the grand finale of last year’s competition.
In the U18 SA Rugby Girls Week, which begins on Tuesday 18 June, Griquas and the Blue Bulls (A-field), and Border and Limpopo (B-field) will have the honours of getting the action under way in their age group.
Western Province will meet Eastern Province in a repeat of last year’s final match, while hosts, the Golden Lions, will go up against the Griffons in a repeat of the U16 match, and KwaZulu-Natal will take on Zimbabwe in the closing game of the day.
The action will continue throughout the week, with the U16 teams battling it out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and the U16 teams on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Similarly to their male counterparts, the top teams in each age group will be drawn in the final match of the respective tournaments where they will battle it out for top honours.
U16 SA Rugby Girls Week fixtures:
Monday, 17 June:
10h00 – Leopards v Pumas (A field)
10h00 – Griquas v Limpopo (B field)
11h15 – Griffons v Golden Lions (A field)
11h15 – Free State v Valke (B field)
12h30 – Boland v Blue Bulls (A field)
12h30 – SWD v Border (B field)
14h25 – Border CD v Western Province (A field)
15h40 – Eastern Province v KwaZulu-Natal (A field)
SA Rugby U18 Girls Week fixtures:
Tuesday, 18 June:
10h00 – Griquas v Blue Bulls (A field)
10h00 – Border v Limpopo (B field)
11h15 – Free State v Pumas (A field)
11h15 – Golden Lions v Griffons (B field)
12h30 – Boland v Leopards (A field)
12h30 – Border CD v SWD (B field)
14h25 – Eastern Province v Western Province (A field)
15h40 – KwaZulu-Natal v Zimbabwe (A field)
LSEN Week fixtures:
Monday, 17 June:
09h00 – Valke v Blue Bulls (A field)
09h00 – Griffons v Sharks (B field)
10h20 – Western Province v Eastern Province (A field)
10h20 – Golden Lions EE v Gauteng XV (B field)
11h40 – Boland v SWD (A field)
13h00 – Golden Lions v Leopards (A field)
15h30 – Free State v Pumas (A field)