The Afrikaans Hoër Seunskool of Pretoria’s (Affies) worst nightmare surrounding the World Schools Festival has come true.
It is expected that the organiser of the tournament, Jon Phelps of Carinat Sports Marketing, will release a statement later today to announce the cancellation of this year’s tournament.
The third edition of the tournament was supposed to be the highlight event as Affies is celebrating its centenary. The festival was to be hosted from 24 to 28 March in Pretoria with ten teams from overseas locking horns with ten of South Africa’s traditional rugby schools.
With less than 20 days left before the kick-off, this would have shocked Affies to the core. Rumours have it that some of the international schools decided to pull out which forced the organisers to cancel the event. The reason why some of the international teams have pulled out might be because of the Corona Virus (Covid-19) or due to financial issues.
No fixtures have been released for the event and on the official website, there were only nine overseas teams confirmed to date.
The nine overseas teams that were confirmed before the cancellation are King’s College (New Zealand), Africa-Pacific Dragons, Hartpury College (England), Portugal u18, Georgia u18, Ratu Kadavulevu (Fiji), USA Schools XV, Verona Academy (Italy) and Uruguay u18.
It was also speculated that Tonga u18 would be the tenth team if the organiser was not able to convince Toulon to sent their junior side to the festival. It is not sure what Affies’ will do to save the situation from their side to still host a festival of some sort or if the Noord/Suid tournament will extend their program to include more matches to accommodate the teams.
All of the rights for the World Schools Festival lie with Carinat Sports Marketing and all the schools and participating teams signs contracts to confirm their participation in the festival.
The ten South African schools that would’ve participated in the festival were Affies, Grey College, Paul Roos Gimnasium, Oakdale Landbou, Monument, Hilton College, Pretoria Boys’ High, SACS, Maritzburg College and King Edward VII.
The World Schools Festival was hosted by Paarl Boys’ High (2018) and Paul Roos Gimnasium (2019) during its first two years.