The 2008 KC 1st XV had a great season losing only two matches. It is amazing that 4 members this team, Grant Hattingh, David Denton, Rosco Specman and Charlie Purdon would make a living out of rugby – a great Kingswood story.
Grant Hattingh (OK 2008)
Grant Hattingh (OK 2008) played age-group level rugby for Western Province between 2009 and 2011 and also represented Maties in the 2011 and 2012 Varsity Cup competitions. He broke into the Western Province Vodacom Cup team after the completion of the 2012 Varsity Cup and made his provincial debut on 21 April 2012 against the Eagles in Oudtshoorn. In April 2012, Grant received a surprise call-up to the injury-depleted Lions and he made his Super Rugby debut on 27 April 2012. In July 2012, he announced that he was joining the Blue Bulls on a 2 1⁄2-year deal. At the end of 2013, he signed a contract extension to tie him to the Blue Bulls until October 2016. In April 2015, Japanese Top League side Kubota Spears announced the signing of Grant Hattingh for the 2015–16 Top League. Grant later played for the Sunwolves in the Super Rugby competition and was rewarded with a call up to the Japanese squad to take part in the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Unfortunately, a serious groin injury put paid to his participation in this show-piece event.
Rosko Specman (OK 2008)
Rosko Specman (OK 2008) has represented the Bulls in Super Rugby, the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup and the Blue Bulls XV in the Rugby Challenge. He played rugby sevens for the South Africa national rugby sevens team between 2014 and 2019 and also played Currie Cup rugby with the Sharks from 2010 to 2012, the Pumas from 2013 to 2015 and the Free State Cheetahs in 2017. He was also a member of the South African Sevens team that won a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. He had a great start to the 2020 Super Rugby by scoring three tries in the Bull’s opening fixture of the season. He has become the star of the show in the Blizbokke set-up winning many accolades and awards for his match-winning performances.
David Denton (OK 2008)
David Denton (OK 2008) moved to Edinburgh after matriculating at Kingswood to study economics at the University of Edinburgh. He was brought into the Scotland under-20s set-up before playing for the Scottish National Academy. He was then awarded a professional contract at Edinburgh for the 2010–11 season. His performances in his debut season lead him to being selected for Scotland’s extended World Cup squad in the build-up to the showpiece. As well as his defensive capabilities, David is known to be an effective ball carrier due to his strength and agility (particularly for a man of his size — 1.96m and 119 kg). In December 2013, David ended speculation about his future (which had seen him linked with a move to the Aviva Premiership) by signing a contract extension which saw him remain at Murrayfield until 2015. On 10 November 2015, he signed for English club Bath Rugby who compete in the Aviva Premiership from the 2015–16 season. On 30 May 2017, it was announced David would move from Bath to local rivals Worcester Warriors for the 2017-18 season. On 14 February 2018 Leicester Tigers announced the signing of him from Worcester for the 2018–19 season.
David made his debut for Scotland, coming on off the bench in the 10–6 win over Ireland in the Rugby World Cup warm-up matches in August 2011. However, he was not named in the final squad for the tournament. He also appeared in all of Scotland’s under-20 side’s games in 2010, five games in the 2010 Six Nations Under 20s Championship and in the IRB Junior World Championship. He has appeared for the Scottish Sevens team in 2010 in the Dubai and George events. David won the “man of the match” award, despite being on the losing side, in Scotland’s 6–13 defeat to England in the opening game of the 6 Nations on 4 February 2012. He was “Man of the Match” in the 6 Nations match against France on 8 March 2014 despite being on the losing side. Following the announcement of the 6 Nations Squad for the 2018 tournament, David was recalled back into the team after a notable absence from the Scotland side since the summer tour of Japan in 2016. David, who played 42 test matches for Scotland saw his chances of representing Scotland at the 2019 world cup go up in smoke when he was advised to retire from the game due to a serious injury.
Imagine that all-important pool decider in the 2019 Rugby World Cup between Japan and Scotland having Old Kingswoodians on opposing sides – I am sure Grant and David would have relished playing against each other – what an amazing Kingswood story this would have been having two OKs from the same KC 1st XV playing against each other in this epic encounter.
Charlie Purdon (OK 2008)
Charlie Purdon (OK 2008) played age-group rugby for the Sharks in South Africa as well as representing the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in the Varsity Cup and playing for Hamilton RFC in the Community Cup. He was part of the Edinburgh Rugby wider training squad in 2014, playing two matches for the ‘A’ team. He then moved across the Atlantic to the USA where he played in the scrumhalf position for the San Diego Breakers in the PRO Rugby North America League. He is currently Head Coach USD Rugby & Co-founder of PERRY BAKER RUGBY CAMPS