Schoolboy rugby needs to change, says Mark Keohane

Schoolboy rugby is corrupting the game by selling its soul, says rugby writer Mark Keohane.

High-profile schools seem to pin their reputation on rugby and this puts a harmful strain on young boys, Keohane warns.

Read: Six schoolboys took cocktail of steroids at Craven Week rugby tournament - Saids

He says the pressure placed on schoolboys is outrageously unfair when only a very minute portion of them ever play professional rugby.

The elite schools are being turned into rugby academies.

Mark Keohane, Rugby writer

The obsessive pursuit to emulate professional rugby at a school level isn't good for the schools, the game or the boys, he says.

I know schoolboys who have been in training since last Septemeber and they're never going to play professional rugby. They've been training five days a week, on Saturday and Sundays.

Mark Keohane, Rugby writer

You've got professional coaches going into schoolboy rugby saying there's no soul left in the school rugby any more.

Mark Keohane, Rugby writer

Also read: Out of line: Why sports cultures need to change at all levels

Principals at elite schools need to stop prioritising rugby at the expense of all-round education, Keohane stresses.

He believes that he schoolboy ranking system must be scrapped and that the South African Rugby Union (Saru) should be the custodian of schoolboy rugby to protect the young men from undue pressure from agents, coaches and schools.

Listen to the full discussion:


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