Welcome to EP Rugby UNION
The Eastern Province Rugby Union was founded in 1888, and has remained a formidable opponent within the South African and International Rugby arena. EPRU is home to many big names in the world of rugby and will continue to to birth great rugby legends. Rugby in this region, was introduced with the key aspect of its growth, centered within building and connecting with the community.
WHAT A YEAR FOR EP!!
“It was a very good start to the year with our affiliated teams doing well in their respective tournaments. Our Currie Cup team ended third in their first division league which is a major improvement from the previous two years: where EPRU ended up last, winning no games. Our junior teams have shown us the same kind of drive and passion to do well. The U/20 team ended up in the final this year and the U/19’s have shown much improvement. Even our craven week team did well this year. I am also pleased to announce that we were granted to be the host province for Craven Week 2020. The Nelson Mandela University will be our home for this prestigious tournament where we will host teams from across the country to scout the new talent our country has to offer.
Our club games were a hit once again this year; despite a glitch where the tournament ended with a semi-final. Both semi-finals were played in a very good atmosphere seeing Progress and Parks in the final. A decision, however, was taken by EPRU to cancel the final and award Progress as the 2019 champions. All the appeals from the various clubs left the union to make this difficult decision. It turned the good nature of the game into a nightmare. We were heavily criticized by this decision. However, club presidents must realize that they stand for their clubs and its specific mandate. We accept this. My mandate, however, is to protect the union and take union decisions. The decision was challenged, and through an independent appeals committee it was clear that EPRU made the right decision in the best interest of the union and all clubs affected. I am not proud of this. I do hope this sends a message that all games should be won on the field and not in the board room. It is a bad reflection on the Union, sponsors, potential sponsors and the good name of rugby. It brings the game we all love into disrepute. For years EP rugby has been known for settling cases in court or in board rooms and this executive will not tolerate it any longer. I do, however, want to wish all the clubs’ prosperity for next year, as we are changing the rules taking away the system where you can lose points. Teams and players will be fined, and a card system will be implemented. Alongside this, independent DC structures will also be implemented.
Referees are considering becoming fully fledged members of the union and not just associates. This resulting from the standard of refereeing and to grow in this area.
Our women’s rugby continues to fly our flag high. They did very well this year and hosting the test between South Africa and the Spanish national team was their highlight.
We receive many visitors throughout the year. This year we had the privileged of having Germans on our home ground as well Blue Bulls President; Willem Strauss.
In other good news; the union bagged a sponsorship deal from Isuzu, pertaining a vehicle. The bar and restaurant have taken off and has also seen dividends. I would like to congratulate our General Manager; Thando Manana who officially took up his position on the first of July. We wish him well with many years of prosperity at this union. I am also pleased to announce that our SARU loan has been dealt with. Furthermore, we have plans to establish an academy with fifty bursaries to enhance our club players; not just on the field, but off as well. The academy will see fit to train academy members as administrators, coaches, referees or anything pertaining to the good name of rugby. The aim is to create a life after rugby for our players. We are hoping to implement this initiative by January 2021. Negotiations with sponsors and role-players are at an advanced staged.
Lastly, I would like to congratulate the Springboks. Especially to coach, Rassie Erasmus, assistant coach Mzwandile Stick, Captain Siya Kolisi, technical team members, Dr Konrad von Hagen, Charles Wessels and Lindsay Weyer alongside players Makazole Mapimpi, Lukhanyo Am and Elton Jantjies who all come from the Eastern Cape. It goes to show what a great rugby producing union we are. This is what can happen to rugby if people stand united. If people leave politics behind and serve the game that we are all so proud of. I thank you for all your support this year and l promise to strive to do better next year. May God Bless you all.”