While the fans who have been watching the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International will have been entertained by the competition so far, there is much more to it than what goes on in every eighty-minute game.
While the competition serves as a platform for the careers of some, and a way to enjoy passion for others, one thing that’s for certain is that these are some of the most memorable years for almost everyone.
Speaking to Tristan Mouton, the FNB Ikey Tigers nineteen-year-old centre, it is evident that Varsity Cup is something special. After representing Namibia at the Commonwealth Youth Games as well as captaining the sevens team, he made the move to FNB UCT where he first played for the FNB Ikeys Young Guns. Now in the first team, Mouton recalls his first senior Varsity Cup cap.
“It was quite an experience; I loved it,” he said. “It’s been phenomenal since then, the Varsity Cup is the best rugby I’ve played.”
“What caught my attention when I joined UCT was when Tom Dawson-Squibb said that UCT is all about creating great men, enjoying the rugby vibe and having a balanced lifestyle,” he added.
Players such as Nic Groom, Eben Etzebeth, Kyle Brown, Hugh Jones, and Ollie Kebble have all come through the FNB Ikey Tigers first team and the Varsity Cup, so there is no doubting the role this competition plays in furthering the development of the country’s talent. However, as Mouton points out, there’s more to it.
“What I enjoy most about the Varsity Cup is probably the vibe and everything that surrounds the idea of university rugby. It’s an awesome platform for your career: it’s good to have the fact that you’ve played for a Varsity Cup side, on your CV,” said Mouton.
“It’s also great to compete against the best of the best in South Africa at this level, to measure yourself against other players in the country. The entire varsity vibe is awesome, and the rugby just tops it off. The Varsity Cup has been such an experience so far,” he concluded.
By Wessley Thring