A very good year for Kingswood

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content on 1 May 2012 at 10:11
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

The elevation of Maties lock Grant Hattingh to the Lions Super Rugby squad – and the inevitable digging into his background that followed – has thrown up an interesting bit of trivia which I thought it would be nice to share with you all on this otherwise quiet public holiday.

Hattingh, as it turns out, attended Kingswood College in Grahamstown and played for a first XV in 2008 that went on to produce a decent number of professional players, given the size of the school.

Aside from lock Hattingh, who went on to play for WP at under 19 level before being noticed playing for Maties in the Varsity Cup, phenomenal Scottish number 8 David Denton was a member of that same Kingswood team in 2008. After being ruled ineligible for South African junior selection, Denton soon moved to Edinburgh and made a fiery test debut against England in this year’s Six Nations championship.

Two other boys from that first team also went on to play higher rugby, ironically both for the Sharks. Scrumhalf Charlie Purdon, who captained the side, attended the Sharks Academy and played for the Sharks at both under 19 and under 21 level before moving back to the Eastern Cape to represent NMMU in the Varsity Cup. Rosco Speckman’s is a name that will probably be more familiar to Sharks fans – he’s also represented the Sharks with distinction at under 21 level and is a current regular in the Sharks XV side.

Not bad going for a school with only 200 pupils…


  • Hey Rob,

    I was fortunate enough to work with the Kingswood team during 2008, the school created a Mental skills development pilot programme that involved me flying down for about 4 weekends over the course of the season and working with 1st Hockey girls and 1st Rugby team as well as doing 1-1’s and giving talks to various teams and school years. Very innovative approach, great people, quality kids. I remember Kingswood the people, the parents, the staff and the kids fondly.

    That rugby year culminated with their big game against arch rivals St Andrews (Kanko’s alma mater) which Kingswood lost 6-5 (or something insanely close) This continued a 15 year losing streak that was only broken in 2011. That was a tough day for those boys.

    Another member of that 2008 rugby team that carried on playing good rugga is UKZN Impi’s fullback of 2011 Kirsten Jones a talented fullback/centre.

    So yeah, not bad for a school with only 200 pupils 🙂

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.05.12 12:37:16 by TG Reply
  • @TG (Comment 1) : hey TG – really nice to see you here again mate.

    What did you think of Denton at the time? Did he stand out as a kid with real potential?

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.05.12 12:45:55 by robdylan Reply
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  • He was Vice Captain of the side if I remember correctly (With Charlie being captain), had a quiet authority and already knew then that he was going to be a professional rugby player. Played well too, was powerful – but wasnt nearly as tall then as he is now.

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.05.12 12:52:45 by TG Reply

  • @TG (Comment 3) : very impressed with all of these kids… a guy like Rosco has had setbacks aplenty so far but seems to just keep trucking on and getting better… the fact that he’s regularly getting picked ahead of contracted players speaks volumes

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.05.12 13:02:59 by robdylan Reply
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