It has been confirmed that the Blue Bulls Tuks Rugby Academy has closed their doors with immediate effect. The ownership of the prestigious academy has change hands several times since it opened its doors during 2002, with the current owner being mr. Theuns Reynolds who is a current vice-president of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union.
The reason for the closure of the Academy could not be confirmed but dwindling numbers most definately did play a role in the decision. Most likely financial constraints, as most parents will struggle to pay fees of up to R 160 000 per year, combined with the uncertainty regarding current prospects for average to good players in South Africa the main reasons.
It is currently uncertain what will happen to the 2020 players that already committed to the Blue Bulls Tuks Rugby Academy, but I am confident that they could be accommodated at the two other established Academies in Pretoria being Quins Bobbies and Naka Bulls. Furthermore, am I also confident that Mr Reynolds will refund any money already paid by the 2020 students as well as honour all sponsorship agreements that is in place.
However, the viability and success of rugby academies is and always will be a contentious issue. RuggasTV will in the next two weeks interview Marinus vd Watt (Naka Bulls) and Ben Eybers (QBR) to ask some uncomfortable questions but also give them a fair opportunity to sell themselves to the public. I can not wait.