The 2023 Premier Interschools season is upon us and promises thrilling match-ups between some of the country’s top sporting schools.
And while Premiership Interschools is celebrating its 10th anniversary, we are also delighted to announce that Sportsmans Warehouse has come on board as the new title sponsor for Premier Interschools. Sportsmans Warehouse, Southern Africa’s home of sports equipment and apparel, is a wonderful brand to have at the forefront of school sport and Premiership Interschools is proud to be associated with them. “In the build up to some of the biggest events on the school sporting calendar, we are thrilled to participate in a phenomenal season of sport, tradition and comradery through our partnership with Premier Interschools,” said Raymond Thomas, Finance Executive of Sportsmans Warehouse.
The 2023 Premiership Interschools calendar sports a total of 12 rugby and 12 netball derbies stretching from the 25th of March to the 26th of August.
Continued participation of top calibre teams highlights Premiers Interschools prestigious status amongst players, coaches and supporters. Schools’ rugby & netball play an invaluable role in the development of South Africa’s sport culture, and instils the values of sportsmanship, teamwork and respect in young players.
In keeping with the tradition of Premier Interschools, viewers can once again expect some of the best rugby and netball fixtures for the season.
The Rugby fixtures feature 15 different schools over a 12 match period. Premier Interschools welcome back all their old friends who have been with them since inception. This year, a newcomer to the Premier Interschools stable will see Durban High School kick off the program on the 25th March against old rivals Maritzburg College.
The planned rugby fixtures for the year are as follows:
Durban High School (DHS) vs Maritzburg College – 25/03/2023 @ DHS
The Premier Interschools 2023 season kicks off on the east coast in Durban when host DHS takes on old foes Maritzburg College from Pietermaritzburg. DHS have been rebooting their rugby prowess the last few years and with ex-Paarl Boys coach Peter Engeldouw at the helm for his second season, it looks like they are heading in the right direction. The last ten encounters between these two rivals have seen College winning six, with DHS winning three and one draw. The last time DHS was victorious over College was last season under their new coach when they won comprehensively 38-14. This shows they are a team to be reckoned with.
Paul Roos vs Grey High School – 15/04/2023 @ Paul Roos
Grey High travels down to beautiful Stellenbosch to take on the might of the Maroon Machine at home. The visitors have not tasted victory against their rivals since 2017 and will be eager to set the record straight at the Markotter fields. This is the same venue where they came back from a 20-point deficit in 2014 and with a young Curwin Bosch at flyhalf, made a remarkable comeback to win the derby 27-26. Paul Roos is re-building and has very strong juniors coming through the ranks at the moment. Playing at fortress Markotter will motivate them immensely not to make the same mistakes they did in 2014.
Paarl Gimnasium vs Affies – 22/04/2023: @Paarl Gim
Affies comes to Paarl for their annual derby with Paarl Gim, now in its seventh year, but only four matches have been played due to Covid. Having won only one of these derby encounters will see them try and even up the numbers. Their overall record against Gim in the last decade saw them winning three out of the nine matches with one draw. The game will take place at Gim’s Jan Kriel fields and they are all but invincible on their home fields.
Paul Roos vs Paarl Gim– 06/05/2023: @Paul Roos
Paarl Gim’s next big fixture is only two weeks later when they travel to Winelands to face one of their biggest rivals, their neighbours Paul Roos. They have a score to settle as Paul Roos upset them last year on home turf and won a closely contested game 26-24. Paarl Gim will be out to return the favour and beat Paul Roos on their beloved Markotter field in front of a partisan home crowd. The last ten matches have Paarl Gim winning 7 and Paul Roos 3, so the home team would like to make it two-in-a-row for 2023.
Paarl Boys’ High vs Grey College – 13/05/2023 @Paarl Boys High
The mighty Grey College visits Paarl in May to contest a match that could possibly decide the number one spot on this years’ school rugby calendar. Both teams are predicted to have cracking teams in 2023 and with Grey having competed in the World Schools festivals in December 2022, they have already shown that they are a great side in the making. The boys from Paarl, under the guidance of head coach Sean Erasmus, have been unstoppable in recent years. Could 2023 be the start of another great run for the team?
Paarl Boys’ High vs Paul Roos– 27/05/2023 @Paarl Boys High
Paarl Boys’ High host another big derby in May when neighbours Paul Roos comes visiting from down the road. The Maroon Machine has a similar record against this Paarl team, winning seven out of their last ten encounters. The Stellenbosch outfit will not be content to leave Paarl without a win in 2023 and this derby could be one of the most contestable to date.
Outeniqua vs Paarl Gim – 22/07/2023: Outeniqua
Outeniqua celebrates their 100th anniversary this year and if the grapevine is to be believed, they have one unbelievable team to represent them for their centenary year. This group was very strong as juniors and hardly lost a match coming through U/14, U/15 and U/16 levels. Paarl Gim will travel to George for this humdinger that could be the highlight of their season. The two sides have a very even record over the last ten games with Paarl Gim having won five with four victories going the way of Outeniqua and one draw.
Grey High vs Grey College – 29/07/2023 @Grey High
The end of August sees the PI team in the friendly city of Gqeberha again for the classic encounter between brother schools Grey College and Grey High. These two schools have the same founder in Sir George Grey and have been rivals for years. Grey High has only one victory in the last ten matches since 2014 and will dearly love to catch up to their brother school.
Paarl Boys’ High vs Paarl Gimnasium– 05/08/2023 @Faure Street Stadium, Paarl
The ninth match of the season features two great rivals in local schoolboy rugby namely Paarl Boys’ High and Paarl Gimnasium. The Galpille against the Bloedworse, South vs North. A whole town divided for one week into two definitive camps. One is either Blue and White or Gold, Maroon and Green. The passion that goes with this rugby derby is undeniable and for more than 100 years the matches have been so closely contested that the average winning margin is just four points. This one is very unpredictable and the boys give it their all for 70 minutes. When the final whistle blows, there will be nothing left on the field but blood, sweat and tears, in victory or loss.
Waterkloof vs Monument – 12/08/2022 : @ Waterkloof
The clash between Hoërskool Monument (Monnas) and Hoërskool Waterkloof will take place in Pretoria. This is the first Northvaal derby in the Premier Interschools series for this season and promises to be a match of high intensity. While Monnas and Waterkloof’s regular Interschools only started in 1996, this has become one of the most eagerly anticipated matches on the schoolboy rugby calendar given the rich rugby history and heritage of both schools. Both schools are consistently among the top rugby schools in the country, but Monnas has the edge over Waterkloof, winning seven of their last ten encounters.
Oakdale vs Boland Landbou – 19/08/2023: @ Oakdale
Another big interschool derby is scheduled for August with the farmers clash between Boland Landbou from Paarl and Oakdale from Riversdale. These two schools regularly produce teams of outstanding quality from a very small player pool. This all comes down to the commitment of these players to their team and to their school. They are rarely out of the top 20 rankings and have produced numerous Craven Week players for their two provinces. Their Interschools match-up is usually a very close affair with neither team having a clear upper hand. The last ten games have seen both winning five each. While they have played each other on an irregular basis pre-1992, these two schools have been playing each other on an annual basis since 1992. This year they will meet for the 29th time.
Bishops vs Rondebosch– 26/08/2023: @ Bishops
Premier Interschools will feature one of the oldest school derbies in the country for their big season finale. Rondebosch vs Bishops is one of the most highly anticipated schoolboy games in the Western Cape. This will be game number 201 for them, the first of which took place in 1911. In 1908 they played a once-off U/16 match while the annual derbies started in 1911. The first match between these two schools saw Bishops run rampant on the day winning the encounter 112-0 with Painton Cowen scoring 86 points in the match. The first recorded match nearly put paid to rugby at Rondebosch, but fortunately they continued with the rivalry in 1911. This is one of the longest running interschool derbies in the country and because they compete twice a year, the number of games played against each other is high. Pride and bragging rights are at stake in the leafy suburb of Rondebosch. The two schools are only about 400m apart and are situated in the shadows of the former home of WP Rugby, Newlands Stadium. Rondebosch has won 79 games, while Bishops reached their century of victories in the first encounter of 2018 and currently stands at 102 wins. There have been 19 draws.
The planned netball fixtures for the year are as follows:
Durban Girls College vs Pietermaritzburg Girls High – 25/03/2023 @ Durban Girls College
Rhenish vs Collegiate – 15/04/2023 @ Rhenish
Paarl Gim vs Affies – 22/04/2023 @ Paarl Gim
Bloemhof vs Paarl Gim – 06/05/2022 @ Bloemhof
Monument vs Noordheuwel – 11/05/2023 @ Monument
St Mary’s vs St Andrews – 17/05/2023 @ St Mary’s
Paarl Girls vs Bloemhof – 20/05/2023 @ Paarl Girls
Stellenberg vs DF Malan – 25/05/2023 @ Stellenberg
Rhenish vs Paarl Valley – 26/05/2023 @ Rhenish
Outeniqua vs Paarl Gim – 22/07/2023 @ Outeniqua
Paarl Girls vs La Rochelle – 29/07/2023 @ Paarl Girls
Paarl Gim vs Paarl Girls – 04/08/2023 @ Paarl Gim
Media release issued by Terras Communications on behalf of Premier Interschools.
For press assistance contact Lauren Terras on +27 82 785 2644 or e-mail. For further information on Terras Communications visit
FOR TOURNAMENT INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Robert Blair, Operations Manager Premier Interschools Pty Ltd.
Telephone: +27 (0)79 588 3703
About Premier Interschools
Premier Interschools is a series of 12 rugby & netball matches, which feature the highest profile and most traditional interschool rivalries from South Africa’s top rugby & netball schools, which are broadcast live on SuperSport from April to August.
School sport has served as one of the cornerstones of the South African sporting landscape dating back more than a century, and true to its slogan “Honouring Heritage. Playing for the Future”, Premier Interschools is about history, heritage and tradition. The series, now in its tenth year, is expected to grow even stronger.
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