A lot has been said regarding Garsfontein's efforts to become a recognized rugby school. Massive amounts of money and energy was spend to achieve just that. Last weekend Garsfontein was crowned VirSeker/Beeld champions at 1stXV and u/14 level with their u/16 team losing in the final.
Before the final there was rumours that Abner van Reenen, whom Garsfontein recruited from primary school Paulus Joubert in the Boland, signed a deal with the Western Province Rugby Union for the 2017 season. Abner will be under nineteen next year and will not be able to compete in the Tuks series. Therefore missing out on games in the first half of the season as Garsfontein competes in the Tuks series.
According to sources Abner left Garsfontein on Sunday and enrolled at Paarl Boishaai this week. This was apparently done in order for Abner to take part in pre season preparations at his new school. If rumours are to be believed he will join the Western Province's u/19 group after Paarl Boishaai's season in 2017.
Just as the school boy rugby supporters start to accept the "buying" of players, the rugby unions pushes the boundaries even further. This has happened before and the names of Grant Hermanus and Marcel van der Merwe is some of the more known examples in the not so distant past.
It is time SARU becomes involved with school boy rugby in order to set boundaries for all involved. The following questions is still to be answered.
- Is Garsfontein entitled to a "transfer fee" as their investment in Abner van Reenen cost them quite a bit.
- Who "owns" Abner now? Is it Boishaai where he attends school or is it the Western Province?
- Is the next logical step for the Unions to open their "own school" in order to solve question no 2 or will the schools be only to happy to share in the glory while they can.
But one must admit that Garsfontein's conduct during these past weeks was a lot better than the haters that crucifies them at every possible opportunity. Like true gentleman just a smile and wishing Abner well for 2017.