University rugby sevens back in George

Francois Kemp of NMMU George will be one of the players to look out for at the USSA rugby sevens tournament on 5 and 6 December.

Southern Cape rugby supporters can look forward to another feast of student rugby when the second annual University Sports South Africa (USSA) Rugby Sevens tournament kicks off at NMMU’s George Campus at Saasveld on Monday, 5 December 2011.

A total number 15 teams, 13 from South African tertiary institutions and two from Namibia, will contest 41 matches to determine this year’s champion in the student rugby sevens fraternity.

This year’s USSA Rugby Sevens tournament will have an added bonus as it will also double as trials for a South African Student Rugby Sevens team to be selected for an international tour next year.

Since it was announced that rugby sevens will form part of the Olympic Games from 2016, the sport is enjoying a greater emphasis – not only inSouth Africa, but worldwide.

Before the start of the new international rugby sevens season, Paul Treu, coach of the Springbok sevens team said that a student rugby sevens tournament is a step in the right direction to ultimately create a culture of sevens rugby in South Africa.

Last year’s champions, the team from University of Stellenbosch (Maties), will be back in full force to defend their title, while 2011 Varsity Cup Champions, University of Cape Town (Ikeys), will surely look to add the sevens title to their 15-man title of earlier this year.

The host team, NMMU George, is set to take advantage of the fact that they are playing on their home field and hope to build on last year’s fine performance. The local side managed to top their pool after the preliminary rounds before finally picking up their first loss in the tournament in the cup quarter final against Ikeys.

The 15 teams in alphabetical order are:

Cape Peninsula University of  Technology

Durban University of  Technology

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (George)

North WestUniversity(Mafikeng)

North WestUniversity(Vaal)

Polytechnic of Namibia

Tshwane University of  Technology A

Tshwane University of  Technology B

University of Cape Town

University of Fort Hare

University of Limpopo (Medunsa)

University of Limpopo (Turfloop)

University of Namibia

University of Stellenbosch A

University of Stellenbosch B

The tournament will start off on Monday, 5 December with a pool phase consisting of 24 matches to determine which teams will compete for the Bowl, the Shield, the Plate or the Cup on Tuesday, 6 December.

All matches will be played at NMMU’s George Campus at Saasveld and are open to the public.

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