Four years ago, in 2015, UCT played in the same tournament, hosted by Oxford University, and returned to Cape Town victorious, so expectations are high for this year’s team.

Ikey Tigers Head Coach, Christiaan “Essie” Esterhuizen, is backing Ikey Tigers to return with the trophy once again: "Playing against teams, including Sydney University and a combined New Zealand universities team, means we will have our work cut out for us, but we have a fantastic squad that has been through Varsity Cup 2019, is performing well in the WP League and we fully expect to be in the final – we want to win.”

The tournament runs from 16-25 September and will include activities to expose students to Japanese culture.

Ikey Tigers Club Director, Johnny Biderman-Pam, is quick to mention that UCT Rugby is proud of achievements on the field, but is even more proud of the Club’s spirit and life lessons men and women learn while playing for Ikey Tigers.

“We want to be at the forefront of global student rugby and to us this means developing the whole person – we are not only about excellence in rugby, we care just as much about students from all walks of life bonding through our sport and having the opportunity of a life time to go on a tour like this to Japan," he said.

"I have no doubt that a tour like this has the potential to shape a student’s view of the world, themselves and their life’s potential."

A tour like this costs a considerable amount, approximately R30000 per person, for the 35 players and management. An ambitious fundraising plan is in place, but support is much needed and members of the public or companies are invited to support them.

The main fundraiser is a raffle and auction night on 17 August (tickets available here), but there are other various sponsorship options available as well, including sponsoring a player, branding on the tour kit or buying a match day jersey. For more sponsorship information contact Johnny Biderman-Pam on