8 Best Rugby Scholarships In South Africa

Did you know? There are rugby scholarships in South Africa? And you can be a recipient if you pass the requirements which I will provide in this blog post. The scholarship will settle your college tuition while you study for a degree and play rugby at the same time. Curious to know how all these work? Don’t stop reading!

Rugby is among the most popular sports in South Africa therefore there will be many high school and college students who will wish to make the national team and represent their country. I’m guessing you are one of them which has, in one way or the other, led you to stumble upon this article and after reading it to the end, you will be glad to find such a masterpiece.

Sports scholarships are nothing new, especially not in South Africa. They can also be found in other countries like the UK, Canada, United States, and Australia. However, the biggest and most popular providers of sports scholarships is the United States and that is because varsity sports are a big deal over there.

If you are in South Africa but eyeing sports scholarships in the US, you can actually get it, and luckily for you, I recently compiled a guide on how to apply for sports scholarships in the US to guide those who wish to apply for one whether they are within or outside the US.

Sports scholarships typically cut across a wide range of sports such as basketball, rugby, soccer, swimming, football, cricket, lacrosse, and every other sport played at varsity level. However, this article only concentrates on the best rugby scholarships in South Africa. You may also check out our recent guide on the best rugby scholarships for international students to find rugby scholarship options outside of your country.

Since SA is a big powerhouse for rugby, there are bound to be scholarships within the sport possibly with the aim of capturing young talents, training, and supporting them academically and athletically to better prepare them for the journey ahead. Groom them to possibly join the national team and represent their countries in national and international competitions.

Now, as a South African with the dream of becoming a professional rugby player but still doesn’t want to give up on academics, that is, you want to earn a degree while pursuing a rugby career, applying for a rugby scholarship will help you strike a balance between both careers and help you achieve your dream with ease. However, the journey is not going to be a smooth one, it will be a very rigorous one.

To be a recipient of one of the rugby scholarships in SA, you must demonstrate academic excellence and participate in rugby competitions at a national school or age-group level representing your home country – South Africa. The key elements that will impact your success in securing a rugby scholarship are your academic qualifications, entrance exam score, playing history, and match highlights.

You are one step away from getting into the main topic but before that, I want to point out that you can apply for other scholarships in South Africa in addition to the rugby scholarships in South Africa. The more funding you accumulate, the better. Having said that, let’s dive into the main topic.

rugby scholarships in South Africa

Best Rugby Scholarships In South Africa

  • Rugby Education Foundation Bursary
  • SACS Rugby Scholarships
  • Schalk Brits Scholarship
  • Nelson Mandela University Bursary
  • The University of Cape Town Sports Scholarships
  • Wits Sport Bursaries
  • St. John’s College Sports Scholarship
  • The Ally Weakley Rugby Fund

1.     Rugby Education Foundation Bursary

The Rugby Education Foundation was established in 2015 by SA Rugby with the aim of supporting talented rugby players by providing them with education bursaries to enable them to balance formal education and high-performance training. With the aid of these bursaries, South African youths who wish to play rugby and still earn a degree can enroll in selected schools or tertiary rugby academics.

The bursary is offered annually and covers full academic fees, accommodation, meals, medical services, medical aid, mentorship, gym access, kit, stipends, rugby coaching, transport, strength and conditioning, and life skills for the recipient. The award amount ranges from R60,000 to R130,000 per year.

Scholarships Link

2.     SACS Rugby Scholarships

SACS High School is the oldest high school in South Africa located on Newlands Avenue and prides itself on the balanced education it provides. SACS is also a very ambitious rugby-playing school, if you are an excellent rugby player, you can apply to SACS and receive bursaries to support the cost of your education at the school.

Interested applicants are required to write a cover letter stating why they would like to attend SACS and what you have to offer the school. In addition, applicants will submit a rugby CV with accurate information about their current age group, weight, height, positions currently playing, and highest team achieved. Successful applicants will be required to attend a few practices to be considered for the scholarship.

Scholarship Link

3.     Schalk Brits Scholarship

Schalk Brits Scholarship is one of the rugby scholarships in South Africa and it is made available by Paul Roos Gymnasium. The Gymnasium proudly offers the Schalk Brits Scholarship to an elite 16/17-year-old sportsman who embodies the values that Schalk Brits is so well known for in the international rugby community.

To qualify to apply for this scholarship, you must be in good academic standing, willing to start at Paul Roos Gymnasium, born in 2007 or 2006, and exemplary disciplinary record. Documents required for application include a CV, a cover letter explaining why you are a suitable candidate, a recent photo, and a certified copy of your ID or birth certificate. During the scholarship, Schalk Brits will act as your mentor and help you reach your full potential.

Scholarship Link

4.     Nelson Mandela University Bursary

Whether you are a current student of Nelson Mandela University or aspiring to be and you are a current member of the Madibaz Rugby Club or you aspire to become a member of the club, then begin applying for the Nelson Mandela University Bursary application. However, you can only be awarded the bursary when you are officially accepted into the university and also as a member of the rugby club.

There is a separate application for the bursary which you will have to download, fill out, and mail to a physical location which is within the school campus. Follow the link below to find more information.

Scholarship Link

5.     The University of Cape Town Sports Scholarships

The University of Cape Town offers sports scholarships to individuals who have represented their country in any sport at a national school or age-group level. If you have represented South Africa in rugby, you can apply for this scholarship at UCT by contacting its Sport and Recreation Center.

Interested applicants are required to download the application form, fill it out, and send it back together with their sports CV. You must have the intent to study at UCT if you are applying for this scholarship.

Scholarship Link

6.     Wits Sport Bursaries

The University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg offers a limited number of bursaries offered every year to deserving student-athletes. If you participated in rugby competitions and training within or outside your high school and wish to study at the University of Witwatersrand then you should apply for the Wits Sports Bursaries. All applications are done online.

Scholarship Link

7.     St. John’s College Sports Scholarship

St. John’s College offers scholarships in academics, music, centenary, and sports. Applicants for the sports scholarship are required to first write the college entrance exam. They are also required to email their sports CV together with their latest student report before the entrance exam date.

If you are a talented rugby player, you can apply for this scholarship as well.

Scholarship Link

8.     The Ally Weakley Rugby Fund

The Ally Weakley Rugby Fund is made available by Rhodes University to a current member of Rhodes Rugby Club who, according to the selection committee, will make a significant contribution to the spirit and achievement of Rhodes Rugby Club. The scholarship is awarded every year but it is tenable for one year at a time and may be renewed.

Application for the Ally Weakley Rugby Fund is done online. There are also other sports bursaries and scholarships offered by Rhodes University to students in any sports, including rugby, who demonstrate exceptional abilities both on the field and in the classroom.

Scholarship Link


South Africa is home to some of the best rugby teams and players in the world, and the country is also a hub for top-quality education. Rugby scholarships in South Africa offer the perfect opportunity to combine your love of the sport with academic excellence.

Whether you’re aiming to play professionally or just want to improve your skills, there are a variety of scholarships available to help you achieve your goals. So, put on your Springbok jersey and get ready to study and play in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.