RUGBY

Rugby has improved in the College over the past number of years.  Since returning from Japan in 2003, where the College participated in the SANIX WORLD YOUTH INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT and came a creditable third, the College has not only taken on tougher opposition, but also has been successful against them.  New fixtures on our fixture list, along with our invitations to the St Stithians and KES Easter Festivals, have added depth to our fixture list.  Since 2006, the College has produced numerous Provincial players (U16 Grant Khomo, U18 Academy Week, U18 Craven Week and U19 Invitation) and 5 SA Schools representatives. Many of these boys would only have started playing rugby when they joined the College as Form 1 boys.  The College’s most successful 1st XV in the last ten years has been the team of 2008.  In that year they won 65% of their matches, including wins over Menlo Park, Hilton College, Jeppe Boys’ High and St Stithians.  This is testimony to the boys themselves, to their coaches and to the structures in place in the College.  Many of our boys have gone on to represent their Universities and other clubs at various levels.

The success of the club has also been due to the very strong links we have with the Blue Bulls Rugby Union.  Their input and support has meant that our structures are in line with what the union want and that can only be beneficial for our boys.  

The College’s commitment to further developing our rugby and our brand of play has seen the appointment of a Director of Rugby.  Mr Kennedy Tsimba, a former provincial player himself, and International Hall of Fame member who played 6 times for Zimbabwe.  His impact in our skill development and pattern of play will see our rugby grow even stronger.  His established links through with the Bulls (where he was a former player) is already paying dividends.  Kennedy’s primary goal will be to work closely with the coaching staff, up-skilling them and working on the core skills of all our players, at both junior and senior levels.  With better skills at their disposal, they will be able to play the attractive ball in hand rugby St Alban’s has been striving to play. Kennedy is also the coach of the 1st XV.

We are fortunate that we are able to boast a formidable coaching staff. Mr David Mukhari, an Old Boy, still holds the record for the most 1st XV caps (94), from the Blue Bulls.   David worked with the Bulls junior (U19 and U21) set up for three years.  Having worked in a professional environment, like the Bulls, for a number of years, his knowledge and experience will have an undoubted effect on the club.  It means our ties with the Bulls will only get stronger.  His insight into what makes a successful franchise work will impact the club and College immensely.

Under Kennedy’s direction, the club will continue to develop the sport as well as the individual and this will be seen in the results on the field of play.  As a College, we are proud to punch well above our weight division and our boys revel in the challenge of facing opposition schools twice or sometimes three times our size; they would want it no other way. By equipping them better, we will give them the necessary tools to compete on the “test match” Saturdays.

Currently we have five old boys playing franchise rugby in South Africa: Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers), Kurt Haupt (Kings) and Jason Jenkins, Jade Stighling, and Abongile Nonkontwana (Bulls). In addition, Michael Kumbirai is playing for the Western Province team in the Super Sport Cup.

In 2016 St Alban’s produced its 1st rugby Springbok when Bongi Mbonambi was selected to represent South Africa. Jason Jenkins has also been selected for the South African “A” team and we look forward to enjoying his progress as a rugby player.

For any further information regarding rugby at the College please contact Mr Kennedy Tsimba on: tsimbak@stalbanscollege.com