After an article was published this morning in the NewZealand Herald, Ruggas.co.za contacted Sean Erasmus of Boishaai to confirm the facts. Sean confirmed that he contacted Carinat Sports Marketing to help organise an International Schoolboy Rugby Festival for the 150th Birthday celebrations of Boishaai in 2018.
The idea was to give the top South African schools the opportunity to compete against top rugby schools from all over the world. An added bonus will be the opportunity for local coaches to interact with top coaches abroad and form a network where ideas and coaching techniques can be exchanged.
Sean's idea was born from a wish to thank Boishaai for their contribution to his career as a person and coach, to leave something behind worth remembering. Sean is still contracted to Boishaai until the end of 2018 and confirmed that no decisions regarding his career after 2018 was made as of yet and believe that God will guide him with his decision with whatever opportunities may come his way.
He confirmed that at this stage this Festival is only planned for 2018 and that no decision was made otherwise. He also confirmed that he understands the impact such a tournament will have on other Easter Festivals if it was to be held annually and said they are committed to St John's festival and are in frequent contact with the organisers thereof.
The list of schools to participate and other information will be released as and when available.
And that is the facts.
"Former Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer has established a new world schools tournament in South Africa and leading New Zealand first XV teams are firmly on his wish list.
Meyer is well-known to New Zealand rugby fans after forming a close friendship with All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. The pair regularly spent time together away from the pressures of international rugby, sharing beers, meals and even attending a game park.
Meyer led the Bulls to the 2007 Super Rugby title and the Springboks from 2012-2015; his last match the 20-18 World Cup semifinal loss to the All Blacks at Twickenham.
Now in his role as managing director of Carinat Sports Marketing, Meyer has teamed up with Paarl Boys' High School, the No 1 school team in South Africa for the past three years, to set-up the World Schools Festival.
The inaugural event, which accompanies Paarl's 150th anniversary, will take place from April 2-8 next year. The top 10 South African rugby schools have committed, and it is believed Sydney's The Scots College are also on board. Meyer has sent invites to 25 leading New Zealand rugby schools, and around the globe to Fiji, Tonga, Japan, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Georgia, England, Ireland and France.
Mount Albert Grammar, Christchurch Boys' and Wellington College are among those New Zealand teams invited.
South African broadcaster SuperSport has indicated interest in televising the event.
"We would like to extend an invitation to your team to come play in this, what might soon become the world's strongest international school competition," the invitation reads.
At this stage, Meyer is keen to have three New Zealand teams involved but, given the unique opportunity, interest is expected to be widespread.
"It's always been my dream to have a top world schools tournament in South Africa," Meyer told the Herald. "I've spoken to the top 10 schools in South Africa and they are all very keen because this has not been done. If I can get 10 schools from abroad it will be our best against the world's best. For me it's about building bridges, meeting guys and giving back."