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31 July 2019
Chester Williams says Varsity rugby plays crucial role in player progress

Rugby legend and head coach of the FNB UWC Rugby Team was a member of a high level panel which discussed the upcoming Rugby World Cup in Japan and the state of South African rugby.

The panel - which included James Dalton, Dillion Leyds, Scarra Ntubeni, Gio Aplon and Cape Times rugby writer Wynona Louw - was hosted by the Cape Times on Wednesday. 

Also in attendance was Japanese Consul General, Yasushi Naito.

Williams, who has embarked on a recruitment drive to find the best young talent for his squad, explained that university level rugby plays a crucial role for the development of players.

Williams said many players like the Springbok sensation and UWC alumnus, Herschel Jantjies, used the Varsity Shield tournament as a springboard into the provincial and national teams. 

“In our days, club rugby was the way to provincial and national level, but today players have varsity rugby to do this as well,” Williams explained.

UWC made its debut in the Varsity Cup this year after winning the Varsity Shield cup twice in a row. Williams also said the quality of rugby at university and club level is “good and very competitive. I am proud to say that UWC is among the top.”

Williams and Dalton were in the historic Springbok team which won the 1995 Rugby World Cup. South Africa beat New Zealand 15 - 12 at Ellis Park where the late Nelson Mandela famously wore captain Francois Pienaar’s number 6 jersey.

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does,” said Mandela.

Williams explained that South Africa is in good hands with head coach Rassie Erasmus at the helm.

“Winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup is possible, Rassie brings high level technical coaching, and good player management, which is needed at this level,” Williams.

  • If you’re interested in obtaining a university degree or diploma, while playing top-level rugby, Chester wants to hear from you! You can email him directly at:

Applications to the faculties of Arts, Law, Life Sciences, Education, Community and Health Sciences, and Economic and Management Sciences close on 30 September 2019. Applications for the Faculty of Dentistry close on 31 August 2019.