The Two Hemispheres Tournament [fr]
The sixth edition of the "two hemispheres tournament" took place from April 11th to 18th 2014 in Johannesburg and Pretoria. This tournament brought together some of the best U20 rugby teams from France and South Africa.
As last year, the Lions and Raiders of Johannesburg and the Pretoria Blue Bulls met two French teams from the regions of Languedoc and Rhône-Alpes. This tournament brought together some of the rising stars of French and South African rugby and several young players from the Top 14 (the French first division) have participated in the tournament in the past.
This tournament is organized every year by the Jules Verne French School Johannesburg with the support of the French Rugby Federation.
It is a great opportunity to create links between our two countries, not only in sports but also on its human aspect: several cultural visits were organized for the players and it highlighted the partnership with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
Thanks to the friendship links existing between the Languedoc committee and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the city of Montpellier participates in the creation of a children’s hospital in South Africa. As well, François Pienaar inaugurated Montpellier’s Nelson Mandela sport centre.
Furthermore, the players met with the students of the Winnie Ngwekazi School in Soweto as well as the ones of the French schools in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Saturday 12 April: 1st day of matches (Ellis Park Stadium)
14h40 BLU BULLS / RHONE ALPES
16h20 GOLDEN LIONS / LANGUEDOC
19h SUPER Rugby GOLDEN LIONS / NATAL SHARKS
Wednesday 16 March: 2nd day of matches (Jeppe High School)
11h45 LIONS INVITATIONAL / LANGUEDOC
13h15 VALKE ACADEMY / RHONE ALPES
Saturday 19 April: 3rd day of matches (Jeppe High School)
14h GOLDEN LIONS / RHONE ALPES
15h30 BLUE BULLS / LANGUEDOC
On Thursday April 17th, a reception was hosted for the teams at the French residence in Pretoria.
The Ambassador’s allocution (in French)
Rugby in France first emerged in 1872, introduced by a group of English merchants. The first French championship was held in 1892. Today, rugby is a very popular sport in France (with 450 000 registered players) and participation grows every year.
The national rugby union teams of France and South Africa have been playing each other in Test rugby since 1913. Their first meeting, held in Bordeaux, was on 11 January 1913, and was won 38-5 by South Africa.