the Springboks unveil their Rhino Dictator in Cape Town in 2010

The Springboks unveil their Rhino Dictator in Cape Town in 2010 with the venerable old Rhino Powerhouse in the background!

At Rhino we pride ourselves that our contact and training equipment is very well made and lasts longer than rival products. In particular our scrum machines are sturdy beasts, none more so than the original Powerhouse ‘roller style’ machine invented by Rhino founder Tim Francis back in the early 70s/late 80s.
Tim Francis coaching the UCT pack

Tim Francis coaching the UCT pack on their Rhino Powerhouse, 1981.

staff of Repton College

Staff of Repton College, Dubai with their Rhino Powerhouse machine.

Rhino-Turf staff visiting Dubai recently turned up a Powerhouse machine at Repton College in Dubai, and this got us to thinking about what might be the oldest surviving Rhino scrum machine still in action. A strong contender has got to be the machine owned by the University of Cape Town. A big part of Rhino’s early history involved a breakthrough into the South African market in the early 1980’s (see here) and when in 2010 the Springboks unveiled to the press a specially re-branded Rhino Dictator scrum machine which they bought from us following the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa, we were pleasantly surprised to note in the background to one of the promotional photographs the original Powerhouse purchased by UCT in 1981 and still in use. Rhino Powerhouse machines are particularly indestructible and if properly maintained will last practically for ever – in the early years of the company they were despatched overseas to South Africa, France, Japan, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and many other rugby playing countries. Many are to be found rusting away unused in the corner of a training field but some, such as the one at UCT, are still in use. We have decided to run a special competition to find those old Powerhouse roller style machines which are still in use and offer prizes to any club, school or university who can provide a photo of theirs, with a special prize for the oldest. 1981 will take some beating! Watch this space for further details!
Tagged: 2014 Misc news