Wednesday Column

Former Springbok, Transvaal and Sharks flank Wahl Bartmann made a welcome return to Mr. Price KINGS PARK last week for the official announcement that his company Fidelity Security Services will be sponsoring the Premier Division for the 2011 KZNRU club rugby season with an option to continue next year.

Bartmann who led the Natal class of 1992 to Currie Cup glory is now the CEO of Fidelity Security Services and like many players from that era he played fairly regularly for his clubs. He played for Bluff Spar Harlequins and Goss & Balfe Crusaders and even had a run for the Saders second stringers when he joined the Durban North club.

For Wahl Bartmann, the importance of club rugby sometimes gets overlooked in the modern era, and he highlighted just how important it is to look after the game at grass roots level and stated that if the club game is nurtured it would lay a stronger foundation for the game in South Africa as a whole.

His brother and co-director Francois was persuaded by the company's KZN representative Juno Fourie to look at the possibilities of backing the Premier Division league in the province. When one considers that the Premier Division clubs play for the Moor Cup, the oldest rugby cup in the country, which was presented to the young colonies way back in 1875 by Sir George Moor, it is little wonder that the rugby-mad family had little hesitation in going with the President of the Southern Natal Rugby Sub-Union's proposal.

The company will also be sponsoring the development club Jaguars.

The news of the new sponsorship deal couldn't have happened at a better time with the premier Division kicking off this weekend. 2010 Moor Cup holders and National Club champions Jonsson College open their 2011 campaign against FNB UKZN Pietermaritzburg at the Peter Booysen Stadium in the capital on Saturday.

In the other games Thanda ZRA Zululand Rhinos are at home to Crusaders while Varsity College Old Boys travel to the Bluff to meet Harlequins and Fidelity Security Jaguars host Acer Durban Collegians.

In the First Division Ricoh Maritzburg Collegians and Hillcrest are the only two unbeaten sides left in the competition and a big showdown looms in the weeks ahead.

Collegians hammered UKZN Durban 67-3 last weekend while Hillcrest thumped South Coast Warriors 58-0. In the other two games Richards Bay following up on their 15-7 win over the Warriors last week beat Ballito Dolphins 49-7 and Amanzimtoti beat Maritzburg Elephants 31-13

- Jos Robson