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Rugby

Head of Rugby:  Mr Allan Milles

Master in Charge: Fenner Barnard

 

Rugby is proudly sponsored by:

 

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Origins of Rugby at Grey

While some sort of football was played on the rough ground of the Donkin Reserve in front of the Grey Institute after its establishment in 1856, early Rectors Thurlow and Johnson both reportly not caring much for the unscientific and rough games the boys played. The first official rugby match took place on the 16th of September in 1893, against the Muir Academy. Initially rugby was played in black coats and straw hats, and a report in 1895 stated that the greatest problem rugby faced at the Grey was a “the lack of rivalry which would prove strong enough to develop excellence.” By 1897 Grey were entered into the men’s third league, but then went into the doldrums as Association Football or Soccer enjoyed prominence until 1908. Three events occurred which allowed rugby to muscle its way into the psyche of our school – Port Elizabeth hosting the Currie Cup tournament and a test against England, and the arrival of JC Hops, Ht “Boetie” Gamble and NS “Tienie” Krige onto the Grey staff. Things developed quickly from here, and by 1933 Grey had its first Springboks Bunny Reid, Fred Smollan and Fred Turner. Their team manager was Wally Mangennis, an Old Grey who had captained the 1st XV for four seasons! Rugby initially found its home at the Crusader Ground at St George’s Park. This relationship extended after the move to the school’s present site in College Drive – as Rector Way would not have rugby played on the cricket fields! Thankfully rugby has found its home on the Philip Field, and long may it remain.

 

General information

Rugby has come along way since the uncertainty it faced in the late 1890’s, and despite the proud cricketing tradition we enjoy, has become the dominant sport at our proud school. Annually we field 8 open teams, and between 4 or 5 teams in the U14, U15 and U16 teams. New staff and pupils are usually quizzed as to what level of rugby they’ve played and where they have coached before any mention is made of the core business of academics! The winter sporting calendar is eagerly anticipated, and consists of regular “Derby Days” against schools across the Eastern and Western Capes. Ancient Rivals include Selborne College; Queen’s College, Dale College and St Andrew’s College, while newer rivals include our brother school Grey College from Bloemfontein and the 51 Springbok strong Paul Roos Gymansium (who we have beaten 3 years in a row!) Wynberg Boys High; Graeme College; Hoerskool Framesby and HTS Daniel Pienaar round off our list of annual rivals. Our annual rugby festival attracts some of the top talent in South Africa, and we compete in the annual Wildeklawer Festival for the Top 20 ranked schools in South Africa. While rankings are always contentious, they are viewed as a barometer of our level of rugby excellence and willingness to take on the best in the nation. In 2013 Grey High produced over 30 representatives in Eastern Province youth teams, including the U18 Craven Week and Academy teams, Grant Khomo U16 team, EP U18 7’s team and Eastern Province Kings U19 team.

 

Current trends and innovations

This year Grey High rugby have begun to make use of video analysis for all their A division teams. Matches are filmed and analysed using Verusco, and laptops distributed to coaches for analysis after each fixture. Players are also able to access their individual statistics and clips in a dedicated computer lab with 12 viewing stations. This is a logical next step to keep Grey rugby ahead of the pack.

 

Rugby Traditions

Only the first XV wear numbers on their Azure jerseys and white change strip.

1st XV players are “capped” on the occasion of their first start for the first XV. This tradition was reintroduced in 2011 after an absence of more than 50 years. Each cap is individually numbered and kept by the player – no doubt a keepsake in the making!

The first XV walks over the 1st XV steps to alert the supporter’s stand of their impending entrance to the Philip Field. These steps are cordoned off, and only opened just before kick off on a Saturday. You earn the right to use them!

The same 1st XV mascot has been in use since the mid 1970’s.

 

List of Springboks

Jack Hirsch

Fred Smollan

Freddie Turner

George Smith

Bunny Reid

Roy Dryburgh

Iain Kirkpatrick * (matriculated at Kimberley Boys High)

Wilf Rosenberg

Peter Allen

Mickey Gerber

Shaun Povey

Luke Watson

JJ Engelbrecht

Siya Kolisi

Jan Serfontein * (matriculated at Grey College)

 

List of Blitzbokke

Luke Watson

Mpho Mbiyozo

Steven Hunt

 

Current Old Boys in provincial and super rugby squads

Siya Kolisi

An old boy from the class of 2009 – Siya Kolisi of the Stormer’s and Springboks has become the poster boy for black rugby players in South Africa. His belligerent style of play and terrific personality has made him a firm favourite among Springbok and Stormers fans alike. Siya made his debut for SA against Scotland last year and was the man of the match – a dream start to what many hope will be an illustrious career for one of Grey High’s favourite sons.  

JJ Engelbrecht

2007’s JJ Engelbrecht was in Meriway House and enjoyed his break out season after leaving Western Province for the Bulls. At outside centre JJ looks to be cementing his place in the green and gold.

Luke Watson

Once a controversial figure – Luke returned to PE from Bath in England as part of the resurgence of rugby in our fair city. The captain of the Kings, look has enjoyed a successful career as part of three Super Rugby franchises: The Sharks, Stomers and Kings, and represented both the Springboks and the Blitzbokke.  

Tim Whitehead

A highly skilful centre, 2006’s Tim Whitehead came to prominence as part of the Varisty Cup winning UCT team, which included the likes of Eben Etzebeth, Nizaam Carr and Nic Groom. Tim’s career came to life at the Sharks, and he is one of the high profile signings recently announced by the EP Kings.

Steven Hunt

From the class of 2006, Steven Hunt represented Western Province on the wing before becoming a prominent member of the Blitzbokke. Hopefully Olympic glory awaits him in Rio 2016.  

Simon Westraadt

A fiery hooker and another bright light from the class of 2006, a short career with Western Province led Simon to greener pastures in Kimberley, and he has represented Griquas in the Currie Cup since 2009.

Martin Ferreira

Instantly recognisable due to his beard, Martin Ferreira has been a key member of the resurgent NMMU Madibaz, and was selected for the SA Universities XV in 2013. He is currently contracted to The EP Kings.

Kurt Coleman

Part of the hugely successful 2008 1st XV, highly skilled flyhalf Kurt Coleman has been a regular member of both Western Province and the Stormers over the past several years.

Sergeal Petersen

A superstar at school, 2012’s Sergeal Petersen began his super rugby career in sensational style, scoring twice in the King’s triumph over the Force in their first match of Super Rugby. Besides representing the Kings, Sergeal has been selected for the SA U20 team.

Michael van Vuuren

2009’s Michael van Vuuren represented the Cheetahs and SA U20 at hooker before accepting a contract in Paris with Stade Francais. Michael will be returning to Port Elizabeth to play for the Kings in this year’s Currie Cup.

Jan Serfontein

Despite not matriculating at Grey PE, Jan Serfontein sees himself as an old boy of both Grey College and Grey High. Supremely talented, Jan made his debut for the Springboks before his 21st birthday.

Michael Willemse

Another young old grey who has experienced tremendous success at UCT, 2011’s Michael Willemse was a member of last year’s SA U20 team. Injuries at Super Rugby level saw Michael gain selection for the Streep Truie in the Vodacom and Currie Cups. He will run out for the Eastern Province Kings in this year’s Super Rugby Competition.

CJ Velleman
CJ burst into Super Rugby prominence in 2016, by bettering more fancied “fetcher” flanks by topping the statistics in the first half of Super Rugby last year, before injury cut his season short. If he is able to repeat his heroics for the EP Kings this year higher honours surely await our captain of 2013.

Curwin Bosch
After two years in the SA School’s team, Curwin was selected in the SA U20 team in 2016, and was one of three nominees for the player of the tournament award. He then represented the Sharks in both the Currie Cup and Super Rugby. Curwin was the second recipient of the school’s Honours Award for Rugby.

Jeremy Ward
Jeremy captained the SA U20 team at the Junior World Championships in Manchester in 2016. After captaining the EP Kings last season, he joined the Sharks in 2017.

Junior Pokomela
Another shining light of the class of 2014, Junior represented the SA U20’s in Manchester last year. He joins Sergeal Petersen at the Cheetahs, and much is expected of this rangy loose forward.

 

Coaches:

Greg Miller

Famed old boy and former Director of Rugby at Grey, 1991’s Greg Miller represented SA School’s at both rugby and cricket, while his record for the annual quad race still stands at the school. Greg represented Eastern Province and Border, and enjoyed stints in Europe as a professional player too. Greg is now part of the Investec International Rugby Academy in Durban.

Mike Catt

Mike Catt famously represently England at 4 World Cups, including their triumph in 2003. Mike was the England back line coach during their tour of South Africa in 2012, and is currently coaching in England.  

Rory Duncan

A Currie Cup winning captain during his time at the Free State, Rory Duncan has returned to Bloemfontein to coach at the Free State Cheetahs after two successful years as Director of Rugby at Grey High. Rory, from the class of 1995, also enjoyed stints as a player in Scotland and Japan.

Alan Solomons

Instrumental in the resurgence of the EP Kings, Alan Solomons has enjoyed an illustrious coaching career. A springbok assistant coach during Nick Mallett’s unbeaten streak, Alan has been a coach at the Stormers, Ulster in Ireland, the Northampton Saints in England and as a coaching advisor to the IRB. Alan is currently the head coach of Edinburgh.

 

Rugby Coaching Staff

Head of Rugby & 1st XV Coach – Allan Miles

Allan was a member of the Selborne College 1st XV squad in 1998 and 1999. He played for the Border U18 Craven Week team in 1999 which was coached by former Grey legend Greg Miller. He has also played 1st XV rugby for St Peter’s school in York, England while on exchange. In his first year out of school he spent time in New Zealand on a rugby exchange at Mahurangi High School in Warkworth. He represented Border at U19 level and later played semi-professionally for the Border Bulldogs in the Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup in 2005.
His coaching career began at Selborne where he coached for 10 years and became the Master in Charge of rugby. He was also appointed as the Head Coach of the Border U16 Grant Khomo team before getting an opportunity of a lifetime. He got asked by Jake White and Eddie Jones to join them with the Jake White's Winning Way consultancy to the Lions Currie cup team of 2009. He fulfilled the role as the Coaching Coordinator and Breakdown Coach of the team. He then went on to the position of Director of Rugby at St Andrew's College for five years. He also became the Head Coach of the U18 Eastern Province Country Districts Craven Week team. A position he held for two seasons.
Allan is a qualified teacher and has been teaching for 13 years. He has joined us from Graeme College where he took on the role as the Senior Housemaster (Superintendent) of Grant House Hostel to further his teaching career. He has teaching experience in Accounting, Economic and Management Sciences, and Business Studies.
He has played and coached at both Craven Week and Currie Cup levels. He is also a qualified World Rugby level 2 coach. He has attended a number of coaching courses which include the Advanced Coaching Course (New Zealand International Rugby Academy), Advanced Coaching Course (International Rugby Academy of South Africa), Coaching the Coaches Course (Jake White and Eddie Jones), Intermediate Coaching Course (International Rugby Academy of South Africa), Jake White’s Winning Way Level 2 and Jake White’s Winning Way Level 1. He was selected as one of the top 10 Coaches (out of 350) from Jake White’s Winning Way Courses in 2009.

Master-in-Charge of Rugby – Fenner Barnard

Fenner matriculated in 1998 at Muir College. He gained his Higher Diploma in Rugby Theory and Practice at the South African Institute of Rugby in 2001, before studying towards a Degree in Journalism at Rhodes University, where he graduated in 2004. He then spent a stint establishing a rugby club at the University of Western New England in Massachusetts, before returning to South Africa, where he worked as a journalist and assisted with the 1st XV at his Alma Mater, Muir College. He joined the Grey High staff as an English teacher in 2007, and took over the administration of rugby in 2011, a position he held until his departure in 2015. Fenner has returned to the staff at Grey at the beginning of 2016 after a year at St David’s Inanda in Sandton, and again fulfils the role of Master in Charge of Rugby. Fenner enjoyed a successful stint at NMMU as head of U21 rugby, and head coach of the Madibaz U21A’s – who he coached to unbeaten league seasons in the Grand Challenge in both 2011 and 2013. Fenner served as an assistant coach to the NMMU Young Guns in the Varsity Cup in 2012, and as head coach of the NMMU 7’s team in the Varsity Sports 7’s that year. He has completed various coaching levels, including a SARU Level 3, USA Level 2, IRB Level 1 and an Investec Rugby Academy Advanced Coaches Certificate.

1st XV Assistant Coach - Byron Schmidt

Byron matriculated at Grey in 2004 and played 1st XV rugby in 2003 and 2004. He also played Craven Week in 2004 for Eastern Province and ended up securing a contract with the Sharks Academy in Durban. He spent 2 years at the Academy playing for the U19 and U21 sides. He was then contracted for another year to the Natal Rugby Union and was part of the Sharks Vodacom Cup squad in 2007. After his time at the Sharks he moved back to Port Elizabeth and represented the EP Kings in both Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup. After that season he made a move to Perth Australia where he spent a season playing for UWA (University of Western Australia). He returned to South Africa and spent two years playing for the Border Bulldogs in the Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup. Byron finished off his rugby career in Scotland playing for AYR rugby club in the Scottish Premiership and the British and Irish Cup. He has completed various rugby courses including his IRB 2 Coaching Course, Natal Rugby Union Level 3 and Scottish Rugby Union Level 1 Conditioning and Coaching Course. He has completed his BCOM Marketing Degree and PGCE through UNISA and is currently finishing off his Honours in Business Management.

 

Coaching Structure for 2017

Team

Coach

Assistant coach

U14A

Carl Snyman & Tyler Botha

 

U14B

Tyler Botha & Carl Snyman

 

U14C

Ian Clifford

 

U14D

Liam Blake-Taylor

 

U15A

Ryan Laurie & Declan McLaggan

 Dirk Westensee

U15B

Declan McLaggan & Ryan Laurie

 

U15C

Louis du Plessis

 

U15D

Henlo Barkhuizen

 

U16A

Beän van Eeden & Zaine Marx

 

U16B

Zaine Marx & Bean van Eeden

 

U16C

Danny Daniel & Quinton Green

 

U16D

 Matthew Oosthuizen

 

U16E

Juan Smit

 

7th XV   

Siya Denga

 

6th XV

Tyronne Rankin

 

5th XV

Hannes Roelofse

 

4th XV

Anton Scholtz

 

3rd XV

Steyn van Eeden

 

2nd XV

Fenner Barnard

 

1st XV

Alan Miles & Byron Schmidt

Jarryd Buys