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How To Get A Rugby Scholarship In South Africa

Chasing the Oval Dream: How to Land a Rugby Scholarship in South Africa

South Africa is a nation obsessed with rugby, and its universities are renowned for producing some of the world’s best players. If you’re a talented young player with dreams of combining your academic pursuits with playing the sport you love, a rugby scholarship could be your golden ticket. Here’s a breakdown on how to turn that dream into a reality:

Sharpen Your Skills and Shine On The Field

This one might seem obvious, but it goes without saying that exceptional rugby talent is the foundation of your scholarship bid. Here’s how to make yourself stand out:

  • Compete at the Highest Level: Play for the best teams available to you, whether it’s your school’s first team, a provincial team, or participating in national tournaments. Every achievement adds weight to your application.
  • Showcase Your Versatility: While having a standout position is valuable, demonstrate your ability to play multiple positions. This adaptability is attractive to coaches.
  • Highlight Your Fitness and Conditioning: Rugby requires peak physical fitness. Focus on building endurance, strength, and agility through dedicated training programs.

Academics Matter Too

Universities are looking for well-rounded individuals. Here’s why your grades are crucial:

  • Maintain Strong Grades: Scholarships often have minimum academic requirements. Solid grades demonstrate your commitment to academics alongside rugby.
  • Standardized Tests: If required by the university, perform well on standardized tests.

Getting Noticed: Proactive Strategies

Don’t wait for opportunities to come knocking. Here’s how to take charge:

  • Build a Compelling Rugby CV: This should include your playing history, stats, achievements, and any relevant coaching experience.
  • Highlight Yourself Online: Compile a video showcasing your skills. Share it on social media platforms and consider creating a rugby-specific profile.
  • Research and Target Universities: South African universities with renowned rugby programs often offer scholarships. Research their programs, eligibility criteria, and application processes.
  • Network with Coaches and Recruiters: Attend rugby camps and tournaments where coaches and scouts might be present. Don’t be shy – introduce yourself and showcase your talent.

Additional Avenues to Explore

  • SARU Education Foundation: The South African Rugby Union’s Education Foundation offers bursaries to talented players, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. South African Rugby Union Education Foundation: https://www.sarugby.co.za/general/education-foundation/
  • Scholarships at Specific Schools: Some South African high schools, like SACS, offer scholarships specifically for talented rugby players. Research these options if applicable to your situation. SACS rugby scholarship: https://sacsrugby.com/scholarships/


The journey to a rugby scholarship requires dedication, perseverance, and strategic planning. By honing your skills, maintaining good grades, and actively promoting yourself, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your dream of playing rugby while earning a degree.

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