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Thomond RFC will host South African tourists

By Aidan Corr
LIMERICK city club Thomond RFC has confirmed that they will be hosting the South African under 18 squad from Spring Boys’ High School when they make their first ever visit to this city, and to Ireland, in October.
The royal blues will play one game against the Johanessburg visitors on Monday, October 3. The following day the South Africans move on to Mullingar where they will play a local side and from there they will be off to Dublin for their final fixture of the short tour.
Spring Boys’ High has an Irish connection. When the school first opened its doors in 1940, Claude Mullen, the first school principal was quick to point out his Irish roots and as a result the official school colours were green.
The game in Limerick has come about through the sheer persistence of the Irish mom of the Spring Boys side’s captain. Lisa Jordaan wanted the boys to experience this rugby-mad city of Limerick and it was through this website that the fixture was eventually nailed down. A number of interested schools and club sides responded but early this week, Thomond RFC finalised their bid in style. Not alone have they arranged the fixture for their under 18s but are also confident that they can arrange hosting for the 20 members of the team squad.
Situated outside Johanessburg, Springs was a booming gold mining town in the 1940s and the High School was opened to accommodate the ever increasing population.
Today the school caters for the English speaking community with the majority of their learners emanating from previously disadvantaged areas.
Situated on the east of Johannesburg, the school is often referred to as ” the small school on the East Rand”. They pride themselves on the excellent academic results achieved by their students and believe in providing their boys with a holistic education. Students are offered twelve different sporting codes and eleven cultural subjects.
Tour organiser for Springs Boys’ High School, Mark Marais, gave us a clearer picture this week: “The rugby team visiting Limerick are certainly not the elite, but mostly a group of boys that would not have an opportunity to experience travel of this nature. A number of the boys’ families cannot afford the luxury of a rugby tour to Ireland so many fundraising events have been arranged to assist these boys’ financially.
“The excitement within the team is growing as a large percentage of the team have never left the borders of the town they were born in. The boys are full of excitement with the prospect of flights and a visit to a different country is adding to the excitement.
“I would like to thank Elaine Lee and Thomond RFC, as well as the members of the local community for offering to help us realise our aim and to make it possible to visit Limerick. Your unselfish commitment to this rugby tour will enrich our learners and make dreams a reality.”

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