The University of Fort Hare Blues Rugby Club in conjunction with the Victoria East Rugby Union (VERU) will be hosting the National Heritage Rugby Tournament now known as the " Nkonkobe Municipality National Heritage Rugby Tournament". The naming rights were given to the Nkonkobe Municipality after their valuable sponsorship to the Local organizing committee for this year's (2013) tournament. VERU President and the EXCO Member of the Border Rugby Football Union, Craig Christiaan, "the sponsorship is a huge plus for us".
"The tournament was on the verge of being cancelled and we were frustrated but I guess those days are over now. I am grateful for the assistance we are getting from the Nkonkobe Municipality from the highest authorities namely the Mayor, Cllr Anele Ntsangani, the Municipal Manager, KC Maneli and the rest of the staff. Once more their support is highly appreciated and I hope the collaboration between our Municipality and UFH can go from strength to strength as this is just the beginning of the bigger things for our society in the Nkonkobe area and surroundings," said Christiaan.
Mzingisi Douw who is the Secretary of the Nkonkobe Sport Council said the tournament is a good marketing for the area - "it really puts the area on the map". He continued and said: " One must remember that we do not have the luxury of sport academies where players can be housed and trained; so this is the platform for the boys to be seen competing amongst the best from other areas."
The following teams are expected to be part of the sporting festivities: Mahlosana Rugby Academy from North West Province , Thabong Rugby Club from Free State Province , Young Ideas from Western Province , African Bombers RFC , Spring Rose RFC and Young Collegians all from Eastern Province; and from Border it will be the Black Lion RFC and two teams from the University of Fort Hare. The tournament will start on 21 September to 24 September 2013. All games will be played at UFH Main cumpas rugby fields in Alice.
The tournament will be made up of two pools: Premier pool and the local pool. The Local pool is strictly reserved for development purposes according to Mr Joe Ndlebe, who also forms part of the Nkonkobe Sports Council. "This Local pool is for all the local clubs with no Premier League status from within and around our area," said Ndlebe.
For the last two years the tournament was won by FNB UFH Blues but that can change considering the form of the Springrose RFC said Vusane Nyamezele, former Blues Captain who is also serving on the Local Organising Committee.
For more information regarding the Nkonkobe Municipality National Rugby Heritage Tournament - please contact tournament director, Elliot Fana on 071 240 1388