Rugby Tens Championship 2023 Final Day

The sun set on a spectacular Rugby Tens Championship tournament on Saturday when the Balkans Honey Badgers were crowned back-to-back franchise Champions at a packed Charles Morkel Stadium in ideal weather conditions in Strand in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Honey Badgers also won the tournament last year when it was held at both Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria and at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch a week apart.

Before the kick-off of the Mixed Play final, a world premiere equality-based format, for Men and Women, the Honey Badgers had to beat the Serengeti Elephants to make sure they finish top of the overall franchise log.

And that is exactly what they managed to do to claim the main prize of the tournament. They smashed the Elephants 33-0 in the final match of the day.

In the Academy Mixed Play final for Boys and Girls, the San Clemente Rhinos beat Bulls/Boland (a partnership that has only been in place since October this year) by 29-0. The Rhinos Men did a fine job in the first half by scoring two tries setting a lead of 12-0 while the Women finished the job in the second half.

In the men’s competition it was two ex-Springbok players Braam van Straaten – coach of the San Clemente Rhinos – against Dick Muir coach of the Cape Town Wild Dogs – going head-to-head.

In the end it was a case of “who let the dogs out” when the Cape Town Wild Dogs were crowned as Champions of the Men’s division for the first time.

The Cape-based side put on an excellent display when they comprehensively outplayed last year’s champions the Rhinos 28-12.

Former Springbok centre Juan de Jongh, who officially announced his retirement from professional rugby on Tuesday, kept his best performance of the tournament for last.

The 35-year-old Stormers, Western Province and Wasps stalwart, put in a brilliant display. He not only scored a great try, but also created two opportunities for his Stormers teammate Jurie Matthee, who crossed for a brace of tries in the final.

An elated De Jongh, who was deservedly named Most Valuable Player (MVP) said afterwards: “I must say it was an unbelievable experience. To win the Men’s Tens Championship is absolutely fantastic. It was a tough game for us playing against a fantastic team.

“The Rhinos have a good squad with Braam van Straaten as their coach. They have a player of the calibre of Branco du Preez and a lot of senior players as well.

“Our team just stuck to the plan. Credit to the Cape Town Wild Dogs for grafting, scrambling, and hanging in there until the end. It is also great to see that the girls are also doing well. What a fantastic tournament. I must say I enjoyed every minute.”

In the Women’s final, the Honey Badgers made it two in a row when they convincingly beat the Serengeti Elephants by 22-5 to be crowned the 2023 Champions. Australia 7s Star Georgia Hannaway was exceptional for the Honey Badgers not only in the final, but throughout the tournament. She was named MVP for her efforts.

This was after the Honey Badgers Boys Academy side successfully defended their title after they beat their counterparts from the Bulls 24-17 in the Academy final.

The Rhinos girls showed their class by also defending their 2022 title and demolishing the Cape Town Wild Dogs girls by a whopping 60-5 in the final. Raylon Murray and Adanya Nicoson of the Rhinos were named MVPs in their respective categories.

Kyle Brown, a former Springbok Sevens Captain, who has been involved with the tournament since its inception says he experienced first-hand the tremendous impact the competition has had since it was first conceptualised.

“Yes, I was involved in the first tournament in 2021 in Portugal. Everything has just grown in leaps and bounds,” Brown said on Saturday.

“We have the men’s and women’s sides as well as the academy girls’ and boys’ teams targeting the goal of equality amongst teams. The entire idea is to bring them all together and show that they rely on each other for the success of the franchise.

“I think they have achieved that incredibly well this week. It’s all about adaptability in the tournament and most of the teams have done really well,” added Brown.

About R10C

The Rugby Tens Championship (R10C) is a professional Rugby 10s competition that offers equal opportunities to athletes worldwide. Through its franchises, each fielding men’s, women’s, boys’, and girls’ teams, R10C is committed to promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in rugby.

For more information R10C, visit

For logs: Schedule and Results November 22, 2023

Media contact

Jaco-Louis Groenewald

ASEM Engage

+27 (0)21 418 7845


Likho Nonyongo

ASEM Engage

+27 (0)21 418 7845