Welcome from the Executive Headmaster

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the 26th St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival, brought to you by Standard Bank. This year is the 125th anniversary of St John’s College and we thank you for joining with us to celebrate this special Easter Rugby Festival.

I am thrilled to be hosting this prestigious event once again and showcasing the best in schoolboy rugby. 

There are no league tables, trophies or medals  – this festival is about the love of rugby, school sport, camaraderie and community. Playing in festivals such as these allows us to meet new friends and create memories that will last a lifetime. I look forward to each game honouring the spirit of true schoolboy sportsmanship. 

To all our visiting teams, we extend a warm welcome to our beautiful campus, and we hope that your time here will be both enjoyable and rewarding. We thank you for your commitment to the sport of rugby and look forward to watching you compete with passion and spirit.

I would like to extend a special thank you to our headline sponsor, Standard Bank. Your partnership in helping us make the St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival happen each year is greatly appreciated.

We would also like to thank our media partner SuperSport Schools, for live-streaming the games to friends and family back home and to the Institute of Marketing Management, Transact, ITEC, BMW, Servest, Gilbert and SGB Cape for your support. 

Lastly, I would like to thank Mr Gavin Houlston, Chairman of the Festival Organising Committee, and his team for their organisation, to our sports masters Mr Alan Lion-Cachet, Mr Adrian Norris, Mr Grant Harrison and their coaches, the operations teams, the medical team, the catering and boarding staff, and all the teachers and parents who have volunteered to assist over the weekend. 

Easter is a time to remember that God’s light, life and love come to meet us in our human moments. May we find some time to pause and be still to know God’s grace and love as we hold the message of Easter in our hearts. 

Gentlemen, enjoy your time here at St John’s College. Play hard, play fair, and most importantly, have fun over this Easter Weekend.

Stuart West
Executive Headmaster
St John’s College 

Standard Bank Welcome

Standard Bank is proud to be once again associated with the St John’s Easter Rugby Festival, a proud sponsor of many years. 

As a bank heavily invested in education in South Africa, we recognise the critical role sport plays in a well-rounded education and fully developed character. Moreover, as a bank calling Africa it’s home and single-mindedly committed to the growth of our continent, we recognise the role of sport in uniting communities.

Just as operating effectively as a team defines success in sports, our business at Standard Bank is also about relationships. Building relationships with clients, communities and even whole countries – 21 of them in Africa, in fact – is what defines Standard Bank as a business. 

Today, we see ourselves as more than a bank. Instead, we see ourselves as an ecosystem business. By leveraging our value chains, our relationships, our clients, our people, our presence across Africa and our skills, we work with each and every client and community we touch to link them to opportunity and growth – so that we can all bring our best and win together!

It is this spirit of partnership, teamwork and of cooperation towards a clear outcome – to win – that defines our relationship with St John’s and our ongoing sponsorship of the festival talks to the heart of our people and purpose. 

Good luck. If you play fair and hard and work together as a team, you’ll all have won – for yourselves, your community and your country. These are the values that St John’s represents. They are also the values that Standard Bank lives every day. 

Thank you. 

Craig Polkinghorne
Head Commercial Banking
Standard Bank

Chairman’s Welcome

Following the success of the 2022 Easter Rugby Festival, we are delighted to host our  26th St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival, proudly sponsored by Standard Bank, as part of our 125th celebrations. This will no doubt be another historic occasion.

My festival journey started with me doing shifts, braaiing and pouring draughts behind the bar. All these years later, to sit as chair of the 26th-anniversary festival is a great privilege and honour. It is extra special for me because I am once again a St John’s parent – my daughter is in Sixth Form this year.

The festival has evolved, but its founding principles remain the same. The festival brings together all the great things that sport and community have to offer. Friendships are forged, and great memories are made. In an ever-changing world, this is a wonderful thing. Long may it continue.

In celebration of this milestone, it is only fitting that Mr Adrian Norris is acknowledged for his contribution to the festival. While holding the reins gently, he has taken excellent care of the visiting schools and players to put on a great show year after year.

We hope all players, officials, parents, and spectators enjoy the high quality of rugby on display throughout the weekend. 

I hope the weather is kind and everyone attending has a great time at our 26th Festival.

Gavin Houston
Chairman, Festival Organising Committee
(2106 – present) 

First XV Coach’s Welcome

This will be my second St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival in charge of the College’s First XV, but I have been here before with a previous school. We have three tough encounters ahead of us, and they will be a good test of how our early-season preparation has gone ahead of our local season. I am looking forward to being part of it as an insider and seeing some of the country’s top schools in action on Burger Field.

The Easter festivals are an important part of South Africa’s rugby talent identification process, and we are glad to provide an opportunity for players to be recognised. Many top players will already have been included in the provincial high-performance programmes or approached by universities. This is a great place for the 2nd and 3rd tier players to put their hands up.

We will try not to let the size of the occasion and the pressure of being the host school affect our performance and treat each fixture as a normal game.

It is our 26th anniversary, and we are all proud to be part of such a historic event.

Katleho Lynch
First XV Coach
St John’s College

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