Part of the Western Province Rugby Academy High Performance Program is focused at exposing players to international rugby. This exposure comes not only in the form of local match fixtures and touring sides, but also through tours. In 2017 the WPRA held 3 tours. These tours were all executed extremely well and also showed that we can be competitive on the international platform.
The first tour in 2017 was held in April as the team made there way up North to Tibilisi in Georgia. The tour involved a 3 match series against the international Georgian U20 team. The spirit in which the Georgians play is a phenomenal spectacle, they play with extreme passion and physicality which was evident in the amount of sore and tired bodies after the tour. The tour culminated with the WPRA collaborating with the Georgian U20’s in preparation for the U20 World Cup to be hosted by Georgia in that same year. The relationship assisted them in maintaining their Tier 1 status at U20 level. The WPRA has since then hosted their U18 and Senior 7’s teams in training camps to assist the development of players and coaches.
The 2nd tour of 2017 saw players flying East this time to Malaysia where they competed in the annual Cobra 10’s tournament in Kuala Lumpur. This tour in particular exposed all those involved to a different culture and a variety of players from different countries. Additionally this type of tour encourages the enjoyment of the things away from rugby and the friendships that are shared with these experiences.
The 3rd and final tour for 2017 was another flight North for the well known Dubai 7’s Tournament. Invitations were extended to players from the Argentina club Rowing PRC with whom we have collaborated with in the past. The combined South African and Argentinian team is something that is not often witnessed, and it was good to see the playing styles gelling well together. Great friendships and memories were made on this tour.
In 2018 there are plans to tour to Argentina, this is however still being finalised.