Springbok rugby stars coming to Eastbourne

Bryan Habana
Bryan Habana

Eastbourne College and the University of Brighton will host rugby giants South Africa over the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The two campus’ will welcome the Springboks, who won the 1995 and 2007 Rugby World Cups, in October next year.

Rugby stars such as captain Jean de Villiers, top appearance holder Victor Matfield and South African all time try scorer Bryan Habana will be staying in Eastbourne ahead of their Pool B match against Japan.

The Brighton American Express Community Stadium will play host to two Pool B matches, with South Africa playing Japan on the 19 October and Samoa playing the USA the following day.

The selection process began in May last year with 90 bids but only 41 Team Bases were picked. With the successful facilities meeting the international team training standards.

It’s somewhat of a coup for Eastbourne to be involved in the World’s third largest sporting event and to host one of the most successful rugby playing nations in the world.

The University of Brighton, Eastbourne campus, in Meads and Eastbourne College joined forces in their bid that proved successful.

Simon Davies, Headmaster of Eastbourne College said, ‘“Eastbourne College is delighted to be a part of the team which will host the mighty Springboks in Eastbourne as they prepare for the Rugby World Cup 2015.”

Eastbourne College, which was founded in 1867, has a strong rugby playing tradition and has hosted various international rugby teams in the past.

Davies added,”In years gone by the All Blacks have trained on our iconic College Field rugby pitch and the 1955 British Lions that toured South Africa prepared here before setting sail for Cape Town.”

The College’s facilities include seven rugby pitches, two synthetic astro pitches, a 25-metre swimming pool and two fitness centres.

Professor Julian Crampton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton, said, “We are delighted to be providing training facilities at our Eastbourne campus for the South Africa national rugby team.

“Eastbourne is a diverse and convivial community and we very much look forward to welcoming the Rugby World Cup 2015 team.”

The Eastbourne sports campus boasts two gymnasiums, a third generation synthetic turf pitch, a large fitness centre and a six court hall.

Crampton added, “The selection of the University of Brighton’s Eastbourne campus as a training base for the South Africa national rugby team is an exciting opportunity for the university to be part of what is the third largest sporting event in the world.”

Eastbourne’s selection as a host to the Springboks is a huge boost for sport in the Sunshine Coast

Last Tuesday the 41 successful hosts were announced and IRB Chairman, Bernard Lapasset, said: “Rugby World Cup 2015 will be an event that has players and fans at heart, and I am delighted that the teams participating at England 2015 will have access to exceptional facilities the length and breadth of the host nation.”