St John’s provide some international flavour

England’s Lord Wandsworth and Namibia’s Windhoek Gym will participate in this year’s St John’s Easter Festival.

St John’s will host it’s 17th Easter Festival over the long weekend, and to make it a unique occasion, they’ve invited two international schools. Lord Wandsworth from England and Windhoek Gym from Namibia will make the trip to Johannesburg for the three-day event.

Big crowds are expected at the St John's Easter Festival

According to tournament organisor Adi Norris, Lord Wandsworth will add some pedigree as they are one of the well-known rugby institutions in the UK. Former England flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson and wing Ugo Monye are two well-known players who attended the school.

‘Overall, we’re very happy with the group of rugby schools that will take part this year,’ Norris told Schoolboy Derby. ‘Our festival didn’t get much support early on, but we now see about 20 000 fans come through over the three days. With some big matches to be played this weekend and the entertainment on show, I’m sure we’ll have massive crowds coming in.

‘A former St John’s teacher is based at Lord Wandsworth and organised their team’s trip to the festival. With Windhoek Gym also taking part, the international matches will be interesting and exciting.

‘We also have 12 preparatory schools taking part in the junior field of the Easter Festival. The support for those matches has also grown a lot over the years.’

A Lions Invitational XV has also been selected and will allow players from disadvantaged or smaller rugby schools to display their talent. Standard Bank has also sponsored Klein Nederburg’s trip to the festival.

The major matches to be played will be the Marais Viljoen-St John’s clash on day one, the Waterkloof-Florida Gauteng derby on day two, and the Waterkloof-Paarl Boys’ match on day three.

St John’s Easter Festival fixtures

DAY ONE (THURSDAY 5 APRIL):
Nelspruit vs Lions Invitational XV (09:45 k/o)
Paarl Boys’ vs Lord Wandsworth (11:00 k/o)
Klein Nederburg vs Daniel Pienaar (12:15 k/o)
Windhoek Gym vs Waterkloof (13:30 k/o)
Parktown Boys’ vs Florida (14:45 k/o)
Marais Viljoen vs St John’s (16:00 k/o)

DAY TWO (SATURDAY 7 APRIL):
Klein Nederburg vs Marais Viljoen (09:45 k/o)
Windhoek Gym vs Daniel Pienaar (11:00 k/o)
Parktown Boys’ vs Lions Invitational XV (12:15 k/o)
Lord Wandsworth vs St John’s (13:45 k/o)
Paarl Boys’ vs Nelspruit (15:00 k/o)
Waterkloof vs Florida (16:15 k/o)

DAY THREE (MONDAY 9 APRIL):
Windhoek Gym vs Parktown Boys’ (09:45 k/o)
Klein Nederburg vs Lord Wandsworth (11:00 k/o)
St John’s College vs Lions Invitational XV (12:15 k/o)
Florida vs Daniel Pienaar (13:30 k/o)
Marais Viljoen vs Nelspruit (14:45 k/o)
Waterkloof vs Paarl Boys’ (16:00 k/o)

By Gareth Duncan