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DHL Stormers school of Origin: Bishops

PUBLISHED: February 26, 2024


With another Vodacom United Rugby Championship Origin Round this week, we profile another Western Cape school with a rich rugby history, Bishops.

Diocesan College was one of the first institutions to play a form of rugby in the Western Cape and are known for embracing the running style that is so loved by the Faithful.

In Rounds 10 and 11 the Vodacom URC has invited teams, players and fans to celebrate the communities and people who helped launch the careers of hundreds of rugby players and coaches.

From #GrassrootsToGreatness the Vodacom URC will shine a spotlight on the identities of the clubs, schools and communities that do an incredible job of giving children the chance to first pick up a rugby ball and guide the lucky few good enough to reach the elite level.

There are four players in the current DHL Stormers squad that attended Bishops in Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, Suleiman Hartzenberg, Imad Khan and Connor Evans, while Head Coach John Dobson is also an old boy.

Dobson’s late father Paul taught Latin and coached rugby at Bishops for 29 years and also wrote a definitive history of rugby at the school.

The first match between Bishops and their oldest rivals SACS is thought to have been played in 1862 and since then there have been many influential rugby figures who have come through the school.

Two of the most influential coaches, Piley Ress (after whom the main rugby pitch is named) and Basil Bey, are credited with instilling the spirit of running rugby in their teams, which endures and is celebrated to this day.

Bishops rugby teams have never played with numbers on their backs, preferring every player to develop a skill set that promotes catch and pass, offloading in the tackle, decision making and identifying space.

As a school with a proud rugby history and philosophy of running rugby which has been passed down through generations, Bishops has a strong connection to the DNA of the DHL Stormers and the Faithful.