International Exchange Programme

 

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The UK programme was initially started in 2001 (over 150 players benefited from both sides of the World ie UK and South Africa) in KwaZulu Natal and adopted by SARU at the end of 2009. Initially the programme started in 1998 with players going to and from New Zealand and Australia and then moved to the UK from 2001. From 2010, the programme has seen players like Joe Launchberry (Now playing for England) from Wasps, Nathan Fowles of Sale Sharks and Ben Ransom of Saracens, all go over to South Africa and players like Earl Rose, Sydney Tobias, Vincent Gwavu, Chris Ndlovu, Thabiso Mngomezulu and in 2013, 7 players played for these clubs in the UK. The programme now involves the Wales Rugby Union (North Wales Academy), Saracens, Sale Sharks and more recently, Worcester Warriors and Gloucester and Provinces in South Africa that are involved are Border, Lions and the Sharks.


The programme also includes Women and since 2010, several women have come from Ulster to South Africa and Springbok Women from South Africa have gone to Ulster. Aylesford Bulls will be taking 2 Women in 2013.


In 2013, Sale Sharks, WRU in North Wales RGC, Gloucester RFC, Aylesford Bulls (Women and men), Bridlington and Dinnington RFC and a few other clubs will be involved.

The programme is backed and funded by SARU, the WRU, the British High Commission, Sport and Recreation SA and several other International bodies and is funded by the British High Commission, Richmark Holdings’ Gavin Varejes, as well as clubs in the UK, Social Responsibility Debentures Charity and SARU.

SARU Exchange Programme Video

 

  

International Exchange Programme Image Gallery



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Max Bakoyi, Siphamandla Sibisi and Deon Kaser at Mount St Mary's through the SARU Exchange Program.

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Dashton Wellman, Lwazi Ngcungama in Compienge, France where they have been played through RDJ Sports Development.

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Aubrey Mkhize from the KZN Rugby Exchange program with John Cooper and Becky Woustenholme from Cumbria and pupils.

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Mount St Mary's Headmaster Nick Cuddihy visiting St John's College in Johannesburg during his time in South Africa building relationships with SA Schools.

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Moe Zimmermann playing for Voortrekker High School against Maritzburg College. Moe is currently down on a 3 month student/rugby exchange through RDJ Sports Development and is at Voortrekker high school where he plays for their U16A team. 

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8th February 2016:

Leon, Dashton and Lwando have been an absolute pleasure to have been involved with. All seemed to go well and hope that you are satisfied with what Selkirk is doing for these young men. We have given them some total different life experiences that we hope they will cherish for ever”

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More pictures below:


16th January 2016:

A handful of young rugby players from previously disadvantaged communities around South Africa have developed big dreams thanks to the SA Rugby Exchange Programme in conjunction with the British High Commission.The programme, which SA Rugby joined in 2009, is aimed at boosting transformation by creating opportunities for black players and coaches to improve their skills through exchange programmes with overseas clubs. The project is funded by SA Rugby and the British High Commission.

One of the players currently benefitting from the programme is 25-year old flank Lwazi Ngcungama from Bhokodisa Location in the Gcilima township outside Port Shepstone, who played rugby for the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the FNB Varsity Shield competition from 2012 to 2015.

Ngcungama, who captained the Impi for two seasons, is currently playing for Kirkby Lonsdale Rugby Union Football Club, a Tier-1 team in the county of Cumbria in North West England. He is one of 15 players who are currently on exchange at clubs throughout the UK, which includes Thurrock RUFC, Selkirk RFC and Alloa RFC.

Other players on the exchange programme include Vusumsi Dyantjies (Norton RFC), Zwelakhe Sodladla (Norton RFC), Daniel Thompson (Thurrock RUFC), Dashton Wellman (Selkirk RFC), Unathi Kongwana (Derbyshire), Jarrett Crouch (Thurrock RUFC), Lindokuhle Mbatha (Kirkby Lonsdale RUFC), Seabelo Sam (Alloa RFC), Mpumelelo Mxretwana (Bridlington RUFC), Yaasier Hartzenberg (Selkirk RUFC) and former Blue Bulls, and Griquas and Leopards Under-19 and Under-21 player Hagen Mumba (Thurrock RUFC).

The coaches selected for the programme this season, meanwhile, include Njabulo Zulu, a former Wanderers Under-21 coach, and former Blue Bulls Currie Cup wing Trompie Nontshinga, who were placed at Upper Eden RUFC in Cumbria.

“The Rugby Exchange Programme offers young players and coaches a new life experience and an opportunity to grow their rugby careers,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“Aside from experiencing new cultures and meeting new people, they are able to improve their rugby skills by learning from players and coaches overseas. This programme plays an important role in our development plans, while also proving our commitment to transformation as set out in our Strategic Transformation Plan.

“We would like to thank the British High Commission for their valuable contribution to the Rugby Exchange Programme and Richard de Jager, who has skilfully managed it since inception. We all share in the excitement of producing quality rugby players and individuals.”

British High Commissioner Dame Judith Macgregor was equally delighted with the programme and said: “I am delighted to be support the SA Rugby Exchange Programme through funding from the High Commission. It enables young players and coaches from disadvantaged communities in South Africa to travel to the UK, spend time with local rugby clubs and to learn more about the game, whilst developing their rugby and wider skills. The programme has reaped dividends and I hope to see more such successes, showing the UK’s commitment to supporting transformation in rugby and across South African society.”

Thanks to the programme Ngcungama harbours aspirations of becoming a professional rugby player and he hopes that his experience in the FNB Varsity Shield and at Kirkby Lonsdale will assist in realising this dream.

“I hope this experience boosts my rugby career because I have learned a lot from the Varsity Shield competition and from being here overseas,” said Ngcungama. “It has really helped me grow my game.”

Having grown up in a township where rugby was not one of the first-choice sporting codes, Ngcungama admits that his passion for the game developed later than most rugby players and that he faced a few challenges along the way.

“I was mainly interested in football, especially in primary school, and I played cricket and basketball, although I was not that good at it. So I didn't always have a passion for rugby,” he said.

“At first my parents did not approve at all, but I just kept on playing, pushing through, being selected for teams and getting awards. They then slowly but surely came around, and now they love the sport, especially my mother.”

Lukhanyo Am, who spent six months at Saracens between 2012 and 2013, is one of the success stories of the programme.

He played for the Valke and Border Bulldogs in the last two seasons before being named in the Cell C Sharks 2016 training camp last season. He is currently on loan to the Southern Kings for the Vodacom Super Rugby season.

Boland flanker Chaney Willemse, meanwhile, played for Selkirk RUFC in Scotland between the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

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6th December 2015:

A flurry of activity has been happening over the past few months, with many players already in England on Exchange including players to North Wales under WRU programme, Selkirk RFC, Oban Lorne RFC and Alloa RFC for the Scotland programme, and Sale Sharks, Newcastle Falcons, Kirkby Lonsdale, Bridlington, Thurrock, Upper Eden, Malton & Norton, Lowestoft & Yarmouth for the England programme.

A really great event for RDJ Sport this month is the arrival of HRH Prince Harry in Durban to visit and spend time with SA Rugby and British High Commission International Exchange programme participants, Lunkanyo Am, Zingisa April, Chaney Willemse, Donald Ngwenya and others. Also present at the event was Her Excellency the British High Commissioner to South Africa Judith McGregor, Isabel Potgieter, Melony Campbell and Jonathan Daniels of the British High Commission, and Qondakele Sompondo, of Grassroots Foundation, who assist with Talent ID in the Eastern Cape for the programme. HRH Prince Harry discussed the programme with the players and coaches and also spent time coaching the disadvantaged youth at the Sharks Stadium, before playing a game of touch with them and John Smit, CEO of the Sharks.

The programme is now officially funded by the British High Commission and Clubs in the UK, as well as SARU and Gavin Varejes, President of SA Rugby Legends.

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For more pictures refer to gallery located below.

 

 

A handful of young rugby players from previously disadvantaged communities around South Africa have developed big dreams thanks to the SA Rugby Exchange Programme in conjunction with the British High Commission.

The programme, which SA Rugby joined in 2009, is aimed at boosting transformation by creating opportunities for black players and coaches to improve their skills through exchange programmes with overseas clubs. The project is funded by SA Rugby and the British High Commission.

One of the players currently benefitting from the programme is 25-year old flank Lwazi Ngcungama from Bhokodisa Location in the Gcilima township outside Port Shepstone, who played rugby for the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the FNB Varsity Shield competition from 2012 to 2015.

Ngcungama, who captained the Impi for two seasons, is currently playing for Kirkby Lonsdale Rugby Union Football Club, a Tier-1 team in the county of Cumbria in North West England. He is one of 15 players who are currently on exchange at clubs throughout the UK, which includes Thurrock RUFC, Selkirk RFC and Alloa RFC.

Other players on the exchange programme include Vusumsi Dyantjies (Norton RFC), Zwelakhe Sodladla (Norton RFC), Daniel Thompson (Thurrock RUFC), Dashton Wellman (Selkirk RFC), Unathi Kongwana (Derbyshire), Jarrett Crouch (Thurrock RUFC), Lindokuhle Mbatha (Kirkby Lonsdale RUFC), Seabelo Sam (Alloa RFC), Mpumelelo Mxretwana (Bridlington RUFC), Yaasier Hartzenberg (Selkirk RUFC) and former Blue Bulls, and Griquas and Leopards Under-19 and Under-21 player Hagen Mumba (Thurrock RUFC).

The coaches selected for the programme this season, meanwhile, include Njabulo Zulu, a former Wanderers Under-21 coach, and former Blue Bulls Currie Cup wing Trompie Nontshinga, who were placed at Upper Eden RUFC in Cumbria.

“The Rugby Exchange Programme offers young players and coaches a new life experience and an opportunity to grow their rugby careers,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“Aside from experiencing new cultures and meeting new people, they are able to improve their rugby skills by learning from players and coaches overseas. This programme plays an important role in our development plans, while also proving our commitment to transformation as set out in our Strategic Transformation Plan.

“We would like to thank the British High Commission for their valuable contribution to the Rugby Exchange Programme and Richard de Jager, who has skilfully managed it since inception. We all share in the excitement of producing quality rugby players and individuals.”

British High Commissioner Dame Judith Macgregor was equally delighted with the programme and said: “I am delighted to be support the SA Rugby Exchange Programme through funding from the High Commission. It enables young players and coaches from disadvantaged communities in South Africa to travel to the UK, spend time with local rugby clubs and to learn more about the game, whilst developing their rugby and wider skills. The programme has reaped dividends and I hope to see more such successes, showing the UK’s commitment to supporting transformation in rugby and across South African society.”

Thanks to the programme Ngcungama harbours aspirations of becoming a professional rugby player and he hopes that his experience in the FNB Varsity Shield and at Kirkby Lonsdale will assist in realising this dream.

“I hope this experience boosts my rugby career because I have learned a lot from the Varsity Shield competition and from being here overseas,” said Ngcungama. “It has really helped me grow my game.”

Having grown up in a township where rugby was not one of the first-choice sporting codes, Ngcungama admits that his passion for the game developed later than most rugby players and that he faced a few challenges along the way.

“I was mainly interested in football, especially in primary school, and I played cricket and basketball, although I was not that good at it. So I didn't always have a passion for rugby,” he said.

“At first my parents did not approve at all, but I just kept on playing, pushing through, being selected for teams and getting awards. They then slowly but surely came around, and now they love the sport, especially my mother.”

Lukhanyo Am, who spent six months at Saracens between 2012 and 2013, is one of the success stories of the programme.

He played for the Valke and Border Bulldogs in the last two seasons before being named in the Cell C Sharks 2016 training camp last season. He is currently on loan to the Southern Kings for the Vodacom Super Rugby season.

Boland flanker Chaney Willemse, meanwhile, played for Selkirk RUFC in Scotland between the 2014 and 2015 seasons.