Welcome from the Executive Headmaster

Welcome to the 27th St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival, brought to you by Standard Bank. It’s a joy to have you all here to partake in this prestigious event,  showcasing the best in schoolboy rugby.

The Easter Rugby Festival isn’t about league tables, trophies, or medals. It’s about fostering a love for rugby, nurturing camaraderie, and strengthening our sense of community. It’s an opportunity for players to forge new friendships and create memories that will last a lifetime. 

To all the visiting teams, we extend a heartfelt welcome to St John’s.  We hope your time here is enjoyable and rewarding, and we look forward to each game played in the true spirit of schoolboy sportsmanship. It is your passion on the field that makes events like these truly memorable.

A special expression of gratitude goes to our headline sponsor, Standard Bank. Your partnership since 2012 has been instrumental in ensuring the success of the St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival year after year. We also extend our appreciation to our media partner, SuperSport Schools, for bringing the excitement of the games to friends and family around the world. 

I must also acknowledge the invaluable contributions of Mr Gavin Houlston, Chairman of the Festival Organising Committee, and his dedicated team for their careful planning in orchestrating this event. Additionally, our sports masters, Mr Alan Lion-Cachet, Mr  Adrian Norris, and Mr Grant Harrison, and coaches, deserve recognition for their dedication to nurturing the talents of our young athletes.

To the estate staff, medical team, catering and boarding personnel, as well as the many teachers and parents who have generously volunteered their time and energy for the Festival, we extend our sincerest thanks. You all ensure the smooth running of the event, contributing to its overall success.

As we gather here during this Easter season, let us take a moment to reflect on the message of hope, renewal, and love that it brings. May we find solace in the grace of God’s light and embrace the spirit of Easter in our hearts.

Gentlemen, enjoy your time here with us, remember to play hard, play fair, and, above all, have lots of fun. May this Easter Weekend be filled with unforgettable moments both on and off the field.

Stuart West
Executive Headmaster
St John’s College 

Welcome from Standard Bank

Standard Bank is proud to once again partner with St John’s College for the annual Easter Rugby Festival. 

Our 12-year partnership with St John’s College not only demonstrates our dedication to supporting sporting excellence but also highlights the value we place on collaborations that have a positive impact on society. 

As a financial institution that enables growth through our presence in 20 African countries and six international centres, Standard Bank is committed to supporting initiatives that promote the holistic development of the youth. 

We recognise that both sport and education play an important part in nurturing the growth potential of well-rounded young people, fostering healthy competition and teamwork for a brighter future. 

We believe that this year’s St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival will be a resounding celebration of excellence, sportsmanship, and community spirit. Standard Bank is thrilled to be part of a platform that unites communities through the universal language of sports. 

We wish all the participants the best of luck.

Thank you. 

Tshiamo Molanda
Head, Youth and Mass Market PPB SA,
Standard Bank

Chairman’s Welcome

After the success of the 2023 Easter Rugby Festival, we’re thrilled to welcome you to the 27th edition of the St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival, proudly sponsored by Standard Bank.

As an Old Johannian and former parent, it’s an honour to lead the Festival Organising Committee once again. From my early days serving shifts, grilling at the braai, and tending bar to now chairing the committee, it’s been quite a journey.

While the Festival has evolved over time, its core values remain unchanged. It’s a celebration of sportsmanship and community, where friendships are forged, and cherished memories are made. In a constantly changing world, the constancy of these principles is key.

I would like to thank Mr Adrian Norris for his unwavering dedication to the Festival over the years. His gentle guidance has ensured that each year, visiting schools and players are treated to an exceptional experience at St John’s. 

To all the players, officials, parents, and spectators, we hope you relish the high-quality rugby on display throughout the weekend, and may the weather be in our favour.

Here’s to a fantastic 27th St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival!

Gavin Houlston
Chairman, Festival Organising Committee

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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