Varsity Cup

Pienaar: We are the envy of the world

2016-01-26 17:03
Francois Pienaar (File)

Cape Town - The possibility of the 12-point try is one that looms large in this year's edition of the Varsity Cup. 


The new points scoring system that awards bonus points depending on where the spell of possession started on the field is sure to ruffle feathers of the game's purists, but competition founder and former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar is willing to take that risk. 

"What have we got to lose? There is absolutely nothing you can lose,' Pienaar told Sport24. 

"It’s trying to promote complete rugby and the emphasis must be on complete rugby ... for all of the skill sets to be available and for players to run the ball and not only be one-dimensional.

"For me to try and convince the purist … I’m a purist … I’m one of the purist people when it comes to rugby. But I’m also innovative and I understand that there is a platform and a need for South African rugby to have a paradigm shift.

"How do we stay ahead of the world? How do we become the best ruby nation in the world? We have to be innovative … we have to try stuff."

Pienaar added that the Varsity Cup's willingness to experiment was the envy of his colleagues around the world. 

"They envy us, and I know from my friends in Australia and New Zealand. They’re envious that there is a competition where we can try these things," said the 1995 World Cup-winning captain.

"We started schoolboy rugby on television and in New Zealand they now have schoolboy rugby on television … they’re following us in grassroot sport."

In this year's Varsity Cup nine points will be awarded for moves that started inside a side's own half, seven points will be awarded for a try that started in between the opposition 22m line and the half-way line while the standard five points will be awarded for a move that started inside the opponent's 22. 

Conversions will be worth three points. 

Read more on:    varsity cup  |  francois pienaar  |  rugby


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