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The History Of South African Rugby

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#1 eugyno21



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Posted 23 September 2012 - 09:51 AM

The Dutch began to settle in the Southern tip of Africa from 1652 but it was only with the arrival of permanent British control in 1806 that the economy began to prosper and cultural and political power grew and extended its influence into the region. As elsewhere in the British Empire a wide range of British cultural practices were introduced during the mid 19th century including sports like football and cricket.

ogilvieThe Reverend George Ogilvie ('Gog'), born in 1826 in Wiltshire, England, is credited with introducing football to South Africa, following his appointment as Headmaster of the Diocesan College at Rondenbosch, near Cape Town in 1861 and remained until 1885. Actually, the game he taught was the Winchester football variety, a game he had learned at his former ‘alma mater’, the well-known Hampshire school, Winchester College, Hampshire England. Soon, the young gentlemen of Cape Town joined in and the local press reported a series of football matches between scratch sides conveniently named ‘Town v Suburbs’, Civil servants v All comers or ‘Home v Colonial-born’ etc. etc. but the first game took place on 21st August 1862 between the Army and the Civil service.

Circa 1875 Rugby football began to be played in the Cape colony, though the first club Hamilton RFC formed that year was playing the Winchester game. The following year two further clubs - the Western Province and Villagers - were formed. The former adopted the Rugby rules, while the latter opted for the Winchester code. Indeed it was Winchester Football that the two leading clubs Hamilton and Villager started playing against each other in 1876, and the history of football in South Africa might have been very different, but for the arrival in Cape Town in 1878 of William Henry Milton, the former England back.

By the late 1870s, rugby football was very much battling to survive against Winchester Football and the Western Province club had ceased to exist due to lack of support, but the arrival in Cape Town of William H. Milton in 1878 turned the tide in favour of rugby. Milton, who had played for England only a few years earlier (in 1874 and 1875), joined the Villagers club and started playing and preaching the rugby code. By the end of that year the football playing fraternity in Cape Town had all but abandoned the Winchester game in favour of the Rugby football variety. Ten years later, Milton (later Sir William, the administrator of Southern Rhodesia) represented South Africa at cricket, though by the time the first British tour arrived in 1891, he had given up playing rugby.
In 1883 the W.P.R.F.U. organized the first club competition for a cup, known as the Grand Challenge Cup, also around 1883 the Stellenbosch club was formed and the young Boers from the farming belt took to it likes ducks to water.

Around the same time the game began in Cape Town, started by a number of British regiments and by the end of 1883 Rugby was established right across the coastal belt of the old Cape colony and expanding in popularity. From there it expanded into Kimberley where in 1886 Griqualand West Rugby Union was formed. Next it expanded into the Western Transvaal towns, Klerksdorp and Potchefstroom whilst the Cape Town men introduced it to Pretoria and Johannesburg. Inter-town matches between Pretoria and Johannesburg were being played in 1888 and the following year the Transvaal Rugby Football Union was formed. Association football had been introduced to Natal earlier than Rugby and so Rugby took a little longer to get a foothold. But by 1890 clubs had been formed in Pietermaritzburg, the capital and headquarters of the British army, and in Durban.

In 1889 the South African Rugby Football Board was established to link up and govern the various unions. They held their first tournament the same year ay Kimberley where the Western province, Transvaal, Griqualand West and Eastern province competed. The Western province won the tournament and went on to win the next eight.

#2 Jain



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Posted 06 August 2018 - 11:39 AM

thank u for giving time to understand

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