Toti touch rugby star to wing his way to Malaysian World Cup in 2018

Matthew Grove goes on the attack for Amanzimtoti High School during a recent school rugby match.

Amanzimtoti High School matric pupil, Matthew Grove (18) has been selected for the SA touch rugby junior team to do battle at the World Cup in Malaysia in 2018.

“This is the first time I have made the SA squad, so I’m very excited,” said the scrumhalf.
Matthew also recently made the KZN U19 touch side. He has made the provincial team since he was 15. He captained the province’s squad twice at the age of 16 and 17, and played for the senior side for the last two years and the mixed team in 2015.

“I have always wanted to be an SA rugby player. If it has the word touch in front of it, that’s not too bad.

I’ve grown so much in the sport. I didn’t think I would realise my goal of making the SA squad now at this age.”

Matthew was born in East London and moved to Port Shepstone at the end of grade 5. He become a Toti boy at the start of grade 6 when he enrolled in Amanzimtoti Primary School.

READ ALSO: Heyn’s high school names pool after its Olympian

He will join the Sharks Academy next year while studying towards a B.Comm degree.

“I love my rugby,” said Matthew. “Touch is very skillful and it teaches you vision. I now see holes where I didn’t before. It broadens your awareness in the game and it helped me improve in normal rugby. It has made me better at passing, as I can feed the ball much quicker, and it has given me more confidence on the field.”

If he excels at next year’s junior World Cup, he will be in with a chance to be selected for the senior side to contest the 2019 World Cup, which has now become his next goal.

READ ALSO: Amanzimtoti pupils to take on Top 32 Schools Challenge

But first he will have to raise the funds to wing it to Malaysia. Matthew is not sure how much he will have to raise, but the flights alone will set him back about R20,000.

Besides studying and playing rugby next year, he will also work to earn some of the funds and hopes to hold some fundraisers. If you can help with sponsorship, call his mother Moira on 076-052-4787.



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Earl Baillache

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