Danie Craven Stadium

(IRB.COM) Tuesday 27 March 2012

The Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch will host the JWC 2012 final on 22 June

The Danie Craven Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium at Coetzenburg in Stellenbosch and forms part of the Stellenbosch University’s sport facilities. It is the headquarters of the Maties Rugby Club.

The stadium was named after the South African and Springbok rugby legend Dr Danie Craven. It holds 16,000 people and was built in 1979. During Rugby World Cup 1995 it hosted the match between Australia and Romania, and was the first match in South Africa where the national side was not involved.

In December 1999 the club became the first venue in South Africa to host an IRB Sevens tournament, won by Fiji who beat New Zealand in the final.

A brief historical overview of the Stellenbosch Rugby Football Club (Maties):

The Stellenbosch Rugby Football Club is the second oldest rugby club in South Africa and was founded in 1875. This means that the Club will this year be 137 years old. The oldest club is Hamiltons Rugby Club and the third oldest the Villager Rugby Club.

In general the players of the club are referred to as Maties, in all probability derived from the Afrikaans word for tomatoes ("tamaties"), based on the maroon coloured jerseys in which the teams still play.

Apart from the Danie Craven Stadium, the club utilises 13 additional rugby fields for training and matches. It was previously the home base for the Springbok Sevens rugby team and hosted various SARU National Club Championship tournaments.

With 53 teams and more than 1,300 registered rugby players that participate in league matches, the Maties Club is most probably one of the biggest competitive rugby clubs in the world.

Eight Maties club teams, as well as a women's team, participate in the leagues of the Western Province Rugby Football Union.

Throughout history the Maties Club has produced several rugby legends, such as Paul Roos, Danie Craven and more recently Schalk Burger.

Through the Maties Rugby Academy, the Maties are involved with rugby development in Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha, Stellenbosch, Kylemore, Kayamandi, Genadendal and Malmesbury. In Mitchell’s Plain alone more than 90 schools are involved in the Maties programme.

The Maties have already produced 171 Springboks and 15 Springbok Test captains. Current Springboks are Jean de Villiers, Schalk Burger, Francois Louw, Gio Aplon and Juan de Jongh.

The Maties Sevens team is the first overseas team to win the well-known Melrose Sevens tournament in Scotland on two consecutive occasions, and has also won the Centrale 7’s in France, Bernidorm 7's in Spain and Roma 7's during 2008.

The Maties have already won the National Club Championship 12 times. The second-best club team could only win the title on three occasions.

The Maties first team has been the Western Province champions and winner of the Grand Challenge Trophy for 13 of the last 15 years. The club has won the FNB Varsity Cup in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

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