New era beckons for Grey PE

Grey High have assembled a new-look squad for the season ahead.

Grey High have scheduled a tough season ahead, which includes clashes against Paul Roos (17 April), Queen’s (1 May), Wynberg (8 May), St Andrews (29 May), Dale College (5 June), Daniel Pienaar (17 July), Grey College (24 July), Framesby (31 July) and Selborne College (14 August).

What will make the season tougher is the fact that they have selected a young 1st XV squad, but director of rugby Greg Miller is confident they will be able to produce successful results.

‘We only have six key players in the squad from last season, but we still have a young, nuggety side who can do well,’ Miller told ‘Because they are young, they are naturally confident. So they should be competent this year. We also have some talented black players in our backline, so we are excited about that.’

Before the official season, Grey High will also host their annual festival on 27, 29 and 31 March. Maritzburg, Michaelhouse, Louis Botha, Hilton College, SACS, Framesby, Daniel Pienaar, Graeme College and Itembilihle will all compete at the festival.

‘We will face SACS, Hilton and Michaelhouse, who all play to a similar style as ours,’ said Miller. ‘This will be a good challenge for us during the pre-season.

‘I’m also confident of a great weekend of rugby. We have been running this festival for the 23 years now and this one promises some good matches.’

While Grey High prepare for the season ahead, Miller added that he senses a change in Eastern Province rugby.

‘Being based in Eastern Province, there’s nothing much that keeps the players interested in pursuing a rugby career here. They all move on to other unions,’ he said. ‘While NMMU are struggling in the Varsity Cup, all the calls I receive are from other unions who show interest in our players.

‘But I have received a call from new EP head coach CornĂ© Korf this year, which was the first time I heard from the union in about four years. This could be a sign of things to come.

‘It’s important for the union to have a good relationship with the schools for development. Once EP have put the correct structures in place, hopefully the talent we produce will remain here.’

By Gareth Duncan