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Shortly after Desmond Davis, a Football enthusiast, retired in March 1931, plans were laid by his successor and “father” of all sport at King Edward, “Robbie” Robinson to start rugby at the School in the 1932 season. To this end he enlisted the help of a “god-father” in the person of Eric F.K. Tucker. He persuaded the Transvaal Rugby Union to level and grass an ugly dusty slope on the School grounds to transform it into two rugby fields to be available for the 1932 season.
On 27 April 1932 the School’s fields were opened when the Chairman of the Governing Body, and ex-Matie, H.J. Hofmeyr kicked off the first ball. On that occasion Frank Robinson expressed the wish that King Edward boys would repay the Transvaal Rugby Union in due course by reproducing in senior rugby, what they had learned while at School.
As early as 1931 the School rugby colours had been decided. For the 1st XV cardinal red jerseys with white collars and a badge and white pants and red and white ringed socks. The rest of the School were to play in red white and green ringed jerseys with dark blue pants and black stockings with red and white tops. And so it has continued to this day with the obvious change to the socks and to white pants for the whole School. It was only in 1935 that the badge was incorporated
Notable Rugby Players ,Achievers & Unbeaten Teams
King Edward VII School has had a number of provincial and international players. Below is a list of Tier 1 Nations’ representatives.
Henry Martin “Skaap” Forrest was the first old boy to represent the Boks. He played 7 tour matches on the 1931-32 tour to the British Isles and Ireland. He represented Transvaal before making his Springbok debut in 1931 (aged 23) against Swansea. The School has memorabilia kindly donated by Mr Forrest on display in the School Museum. He is recorded as Bok 229 by SARU.
Interestingly enough Henry Forrest played no rugby at School, only 2nd team soccer (rugby only started at the school in 1931) and only took up the game at Wits Rugby Club. In his first season (1929) he was selected for Transvaal and two years later became a Springbok Tourist.
JC van Niekerk (1998)
The school then had a lengthy wait before Johann Christiaan “Big Joe” van Niekerk made it onto the Bok roll of honour. Joe van Niekerk is Bok 719.
Joe also had colours for athletics. He ran 400, 200 and 100. In grade 11 he high jumped over 2m at the Pretoria boys meeting. He played Reds 1996,97,98.
Big Joe played 52 tests in all and was SA Rugby Player of the Year (2002). The huge, athletic loose forward also captained South Africa at U21 level. After starring for the South Africa Schools, under-19, and under-21 sides, and captaining at all three levels, Van Niekerk received the rare honour of being called up to the Springboks directly from the U21 side in 2001, in spite of never having played a game in either the Currie Cup or Super 12. He made his debut against the All Blacks in Cape Town.
Joe van Niekerk represented Golden Lions (2001-2002 & 2008), Western Province (2003-2007) and capped his career off at Toulon (from 2009 to 2013). As captain of Toulon, he put in consistently strong performances, earning the accolade as the best player in the French Top 14 in 2009
BG Habana (2000)
Bryan Gary Habana became Bok 766. More impressively he became only the 4th Bok in history to earn more than 100 caps!
Interestingly Brian also ended up at Toulon, France (since 2013). Announced retirement on 24 April 2018 from the great game.
He previously represented Western Province (2010-2013), Blue Bulls (2005-2009) and Golden Lions (2004).
Bryan’s list of achievements in the Bok Green & Gold are particularly noteworthy:
• Three time South African Rugby Player of the Year (2012, 2007 & 2005)
• Became the first South African to reach 50 Test tries
• He has scored the most tries in Vodacom Super Rugby of any South African
• He passed the great Joost van der Westhuizen’s long-standing record of 38 Test tries for South Africa at the Rugby World Cup in 2011
• Bryan was the IRB’s World Rugby Player of the Year in 2007.
• Bryan scored test try no 66 on 17 September 2016 vs All Blacks. Leading test try scorer.
MJ Marx (2012)
On 17 September 2016, Malcolm Justin Marx made his debut for the Springboks and became Bok no 876 vs New Zealand.
He represented the Golden Lions at every level from u13 and was included in a South Africa Academy side in 2011 and the South Africa Schools side in August 2012.
An interesting aspect of Malcolm Marx career at school was that he played 1st team lock as an U16, flank in grade 11 & then moved to hooker in grade 12
In 2013 he was named as the Golden Lions U19 Forward of the Year.
He was included in the South Africa Under-20 side for the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship. Malcolm was SARU Young player of the year in 2016.
He was also included in the Lions Super Rugby squad for the 2014 Super Rugby season and in 2016, Marx was included in a South Africa ‘A’ squad that played a two-match series against the England Saxons team.
Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx was rewarded with 3 awards following a sublime season in 2017, including being named the SA Rugby Player of the Year.
The 23-year-old star from the Lions was also named the SA Rugby Young Player (Under-23) and Super Rugby Player of the Year for 2017.
Marx, who retained the Young Player of the Year award he won in 2016, is the first player since Ashwin Willemse in 2003 to win the prestigious SA Rugby Player and Young Player of the Year Awards in the same season.
BOKS VISIT WITH MALCOLM MARX JUNE 2017
(Courtesy of SuperSport Blitz)
Now 2018 Springbok captain Kolisi
BlitzBoks K W Foote (1998)
Kevin William Foote played Reds in 96,97,98. He captained in 97 and played Craven week flank. He repeated matric in 98.
Kevin captained the craven week side on the flank with Big Joe at 8. A true student of the game who went on to captain the Blitzbokke and then to coach Bishops. He then coached UCT to a varsity cup win and is now at the Melborne Rebels (2018) in the coaching team as defense coach.
He was a colours man and prefect in 97 and a proper athlete who was in the 4x100m team as well.
RM Thomas (2000) – Wales
Rhys Thomas made appearances at three different levels for Wales, beginning at Under-19 level. Thomas was included in the Wales Under-21 side and played a big part in Wales winning the U-21 six nations in his final year of U21’s. He was also selected for the world cup dream team as best tight head, the only Northern Hemisphere player to be selected in that team.
In 2006, Thomas made his debut for the Wales national rugby union team and earned 7 Caps over his career.
There are unbeaten teams, many of which are emblazoned in photographs in the Rob Wray Pavilion.
Notable amongst these are:
1st XV Unbeaten:
1st Rugby XV 1974 played 14 won 14 lost 0 points for 503 against 125 – Captain Lee Barnard
1st Rugby 1973 played 13 won 12, drew 1 – Captain Lee Barnard
1st Rugby 1978 played 16 won 15, drew 1 – Captain Brian Hodgkinson
1st XV Rugby 1968 played 17 won 17 points for 393 against 88, 66 tries for 8 against – Captain Norman Picker
The school currently fields 24 sides which facilitates that approximately 360 boys are participating in rugby fixtures each week. The U14 age group typically has up to a “G” side, which is a good reflection on the depth of talent available to the school. More importantly all of these boys are enjoying the benefits of team work as well as the camaraderie that is associated with a sport like rugby.
It is vital to us that all the boys get the opportunity to play but it is also important to us that we do well and produce ‘the goods’ in rugby. We compete against very tough opponents and traditionally have great rivalries with many top all boys school within and outside the provincial boundaries. At the moment we privileged to play annually against some great schools such as AFFIES, HS Monument, Pretoria Boys’, Parktown Boys’, Jeppe Boys’, Westville Boys’, Maritzburg College, St John’s College, St Stithians College and St Albans College. The boys are exposed to top class opponents week in and week out. Matching ‘strength on strength’, will allow our players the opportunity to possibly gain provincial school and SA school selection into the future.
However in the senior set up we have: V Jobo (USA Raiders 2017, Vodacom Cheetahs 2016, UCT), L Ruiters (Cheetahs Vodacom Cup 2015), F Ntelki (EP KIngs 2015), W Mjekevu (Perpignan, Sharks & Southern Kings), J Saunders (Saracens), M Marx (Springboks, Springboks, SA A Team, Lions Super Rugby, SA u20), C Brink (Lions Super Rugby, Lions Vodacom, SA u20), D Smith (Lions Super Rugby, Lions Vodacom), S Ntubeni (DHL Stormers & Springboks Squad), B Habana (Toulon, DHL Stormers & Springboks), Raynor Parkinson (Germany 2015/2016) & J Van Niekerk (Toulon) now retired.
PROMOTIONAL VIDEO - 2017
Deputy Principal Retirement – Mr RJH Hansen27 May 2019
Long serving Deputy Principal, Mr RJH Hansen retires at the end of Term 2 after 24 years at King Edward VII School. Mr Hansen will be retiring after spending 41 years in Education! On...
Tribute To the Legend Norman McFarland11 April 2019
Dear King Edward VII School Community, It is with great sadness that we learned of the sudden passing of Mr Norman McFarland yesterday. Norman McFarland taught at King Edward VII School from 1967...