New club for the fine play­ers who’ve played 100 tests

Saturday Star - - NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTER

VERY few rugby play­ers ever play 100 Test matches.

Be­ing in­cluded in this pres­ti­gious club is an hon­our be­stowed upon ex­cep­tional rugby play­ers – the world’s finest.

Now through Rugby the Cen­tu­ri­ons, th­ese play­ers will have a chance to give back to the game of rugby and help to grow the sport and give sup­port to promis­ing new play­ers.

Ahead of the In­ter­na­tional launch, which will be held in Lon­don Novem­ber 23, yes­ter­day’s lo­cal launch in Jo­han­nes­burg was at­tended by a va­ri­ety of well-known speak­ers.

Th­ese in­cluded for mer Springbok cap­tain John Smit and Man­ag­ing Cus­to­dian of the Rugby Cen­tu­ri­ons and SA Rugby leg­end Vic­tor Mat­field – both of whom are Cen­tu­ri­ons – as well as Founder of the Rugby Cen­tu­ri­ons, Gavin Vare­jes.

Rugby Cen­tu­ri­ons is the tough­est mem­ber­ship in the world to crack, with only three in every 1000 play­ers ever reach­ing the 100-test mile­stone.

As well as cel­e­brat­ing the achieve­ments of its mem­bers, the Rugby Cen­tu­ri­ons has a big­ger goal: to use the col­lec­tive weight of the ex­pe­ri­ence and abil­i­ties of its mem­bers to grow the sport across the world.

This means pro­mot­ing rugby at a grass­roots level. The aim is to take the game to new ter­ri­to­ries and break new ground in the sport.

Said John Smit: “Every ath­lete dreams of leav­ing a legacy be­hind once they can no longer be on the field.

“With the Rugby Cen­tu­ri­ons, we are giv­ing play­ers a way to make that legacy tan­gi­ble through our ex­cit­ing projects.

“Rugby has given us so much, and shaped our lives, now we can give back to this mag­nif­i­cent game.”

He added, “Rugby Cen­tur- ions will also pay homage to the leg­ends of the game.

“This elite mem­ber­ship is re­served for those play­ers who reached the pin­na­cle of suc­cess in rugby.

“We want to see th­ese fine play­ers given the glory that they de­serve for their mag­nif­i­cent achieve­ments.”

Gavin Vare­jes said the ini­tia­tive her­alds the start of great things to come.

Vic­tor Mat­field, Gavin Vare­jes (Founder), and John Smit (Man­ag­ing Cus­to­dian of the Rugby Cen­tu­ri­ons).

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