The Prince Edward Tigers are ready to roar in this year’s edition of the Dairiboard Schools Rugby Festival, which kicks off at Prince Edward High School this Sunday.
Speaking to 263Chat ahead of the annual developmental Rugby feast run under the theme “Substance of good health.”
The Tigers’ coach Sean De Souza said his charges are relishing the challenge of playing against the best schools as they look to once again emerge as the best side.
“The boys are eagerly waiting for the start of the games and they are stronger than they were last year. We want to maintain our dominance as the best school boy rugby team in the country.
“We still have some boys who are not in camp which is a bit of a setback as they are still focusing on their exams. But we hope to get them in before Friday,” said De Souza.
The Tigers coach expects a stiffer challenge from Churchill Boys School, St Georges, St Johns and Watershed School who are the traditional schools rugby powerhouses.
“I think the competition is going to be stiffer this year. We have eight schools that went on international tours and obviously they came back stronger. So we are relishing that challenge and we are in for a good festival,” De Souza added.
However, this year’s festival will be missing perennial strong teams like Peterhouse School, Falcon College and Midlands Christian College all missing due to various reasons.
De Souza however underlined that his charges will go out in full force to conquer the festivities once again.
This year’s festival will have 150 schools participating, 40 short of last year’s 190 schools.
Festival Director, Tawanda Jimu said they reduced the number of schools in order to improve the level of quality of the matches.
He said they have however, increased the number of girls’ teams in a bid to promote the sport to the girl child adding that as usual, there will be foreign teams taking part in the festival.
“We have 150 schools which have confirmed their participation.34 girls’ teams will be taking part, which is an increase from last year’s 30. We also have 16 foreign teams which will be participating,
“The reduction in the number of participants is a deliberate ploy to increase the quality of the games. We need more time with less schools,” said Jimu.
Participating schools will also undergo an anti-doping seminar in an effort to increase awareness on the dangers of doping in sports.