PRETORIA, 11 MAY 2017 - The Beachcomber World Club 10s in Mauritius will have a strong South African and Australian flavour for the third staging of the popular tournament at the Anjalay Stadium in Mauritius on June 17 and 18.
Former Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is in charge of running the tournament while legendary lock Victor Matfield, will assist in coaching the Africa Pacific Dragons.
Meyer, who enjoyed a long and successful professional relationship with Matfield at both the Bulls and Springboks, will also be on hand to give input to the composite Dragons team. Matfield and former Bok flyhalf Jaco van der Westhuyzen will formally coach the Dragons.
“This tournament is about the ethos of the sport,” Meyer said. “I started coaching rugby in the amateur days, for the love of it.
“I believe that the Beachcomber World 10s can grow into one of the biggest tournaments in the world. I was so impressed with the atmosphere of 10s and what it brings to the game, that I joined Carinat Sports Marketing to help grow the sport.
“This tournament, on the beautiful island of Mauritius, can become one of the best sporting events in the world. From South Africa it’s a four-hour flight, so guys can come out with families and friends on a Thursday and be back at work on Monday.”
The Vodacom Bulls and Toyota Cheetahs are confirmed as two of the eight elite professional teams for the third staging of rugby’s newest, and most exciting, format.
South African Dave Wessels will bring his exciting Western Force squad to the Indian Ocean Island next month to defend the title they won in 2016 while the Brumbies are Australia’s other entrants.
The combined Africa Pacific Dragons will have the Springboks’ most capped Test player Matfield on their coaching staff while Japan’s Kubota Spears, who are making their debut, are coached by South African Frans Ludeke.
English club side Harlequins and French combined unit the Pyrenees Rugby Seven (PR7) complete the elite lineup.
Matfield, who is involved in rugby punditry with broadcaster SuperSport, is keen to become a full time rugby coach and believes experience with the Dragons in Mauritius will benefit his career.
“We want to have some fun, because that is what the Beachcomber World Club 10s in Mauritius is about,” Matfield said. “There are parallels to a Barbarian week in terms of the off-field fun.
“But I do want to coach seriously and having the opportunity to work alongside Heyneke again in a different capacity, will teach me a lot. We’re competitive and want to win as well.”
The tournament is ready to add another exciting rugby option in the packed June calendar.
While Super Rugby hibernates in the June International window, fans would have the chance to see some top current and former international players in Mauritius.
Matfield believes the format has the ability to grow in the rugby equivalent of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket over time.
“Tens is still in its infancy,” Matfield said. “But sevens and fifteens have drifted so far apart now, they are almost two separate sports.
“Every player in sevens these days has a similar physical profile whereas fifteens is still a game for all shapes and sizes.
“And that’s what’s appealing about 10s as well, because it allows for props and locks due to having five man scrums and proper lineouts. Guys like Os du Randt and Tendai ‘the Beast’ Mtawarira could never play sevens, but they could play 10s. There is space for all types of players.
“But unlike fifteens there is more space, so we will see more tries and more running with the ball. As a concept, I really like the idea.”
The Beachcomber World Club 10s is fully sanctioned by World Rugby, Rugby Afrique and Rugby Union Mauritius.