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Changing of the guard

Varsity Cup News No Comments 774

Just three of the eight FNB Varsity Cup coaches in 2014 will have any experience in the competition. We take a closer look at their credentials.

All three of the coaches that have some Varsity Cup experience have just last year’s campaign under their belt, which means that not one of the coaches from the 2012 season remain.

Wits’ Andy Royle, UFS-Shimlas’ Michael Horak and Maties’ Chris Rossouw are the three coaches that have kept their positions, with the other five teams all turning to fresh blood.

Here is a comparison of the men in charge for 2014 and their credentials:

FNB Wits

Coach: Andy Royle
Varsity Cup experience: Varsity Shield 2011-12, Varsity Cup 2013 (8th)
Other experience: Union, Alberton, Golden Lions amateurs

Having taken Wits to the inaugural Varsity Shield Final in 2011, Royle steered them to the title in 2012 to earn promotion to the Varsity Cup in 2013. Their debut season this year was something of a baptism of fire as they failed to win a single game to take the Wooden Spoon. Royle’s next challenge is to make Wits competitive in the top tier of Varsity Rugby and avoid relegation which will be a factor next year.

FNB UCT

Coach: Kevin Musikanth
Varsity Cup experience: None
Other experience: WP amateurs, False Bay RFC, Wynberg Boys High School director of rugby

With Kevin Foote having joined the Western Force, the Ikeys have gained the services of Musikanth who has proven himself at local school and club level in Cape Town. Musikanth has enjoyed great success as False Bay RFC coach, earning them promotion to the Western Province Super League A twice in two separate stints with the club. He has also been involved in the Western Province Amateur team in recent seasons and has coached the impressive Wynberg Boys High first XV for the last two years as well.

FNB UFS-Shimlas

Coach: Michael Horak
Varsity Cup experience: 2013 (6th)
Other experience: Cheetahs defence coach 2010-2012

After a playing career which saw him earn one Test cap for England in 2002, Horak eventually retired in 2010. He then moved back to South Africa where he took up the position as defence coach for the Cheetahs before being appointed as Shimlas coach last year with Hendro Scholtz and Barry Goodes as his assistants. His first season in charge was somewhat disappointing as the Bloemfontein side finished third-last, but having kept good continuity in players and management he is hopeful of challenging the top sides more consistently in 2014.

FNB NWU-Pukke

Coach: Robert du Preez
Varsity Cup experience: None
Other experience: College Rovers 2011-13

Former Springbok scrumhalf Robert du Preez has taken over from the experienced Hannes Esterhuizen at NWU-Pukke. Having started his playing career in Potchefstroom with Western Transvaal, Du Preez went on to play for Northern Transvaal where he partnered Naas Botha before moving to Durban and eventually finishing his career with the Sharks in 1997, earning his seven Test caps once South Africa were readmitted to international rugby. After taking charge of Durban club side college Rovers in 2011 he led them to back-to-back Moore and Murray Cup titles as well as the final of the inaugural Community Cup this year.

FNB UJ

Coach: Werner Janse van Rensburg
Varsity Cup experience: None
Other experience: Golden Lions Academy Week (2006/07), Golden Lions Schools U19 (2008/09), Golden Lions Craven Week (2010-13)

With long-standing coach Hugo van As stepping aside at the end of this season, his place has been taken by Werner Janse van Rensburg who will be assisted by former Springboks Gcobani Bobo and Ian MacDonald. Janse van Resnburg is a product of UJ having gained a degree in Sports Science at the university where he also started his coaching career. He started by coaching the Under-19B side when he was just 21 and coached a number of sides at UJ along with some representative age-group teams. He served as the Golden Lions Academy Week coach in 2006 and 2007 before going on to take charge of the Golden Lions U19 Schools side in 2008 and 2009 and eventually serving as Golden Lions Craven Week coach from 2010 through to 2013.

FNB NMMU

Coach: To be confirmed

After taking charge of the NMMU Madibaz in 2011, Brent Janse van Rensburg completely transformed the Eastern Cape side’s fortunes, turning them from bottom-feeders into semifinalists for the first time this year. He is set to step aside next season to pursue other interests, and although his successor is yet to be named, Janse van Rensburg will still be involved to ensure that it is a smooth transition.

FNB Maties

Coach: Chris Rossouw
Varsity Cup experience: 2013 (2nd)
Other experience: Paarl Gimnasium 2010, Victorians 2011, SA Students 2013

Former Western Province and Free State flyhalf Chris Rossouw took over from three-times Varsity Cup-winning coach Chean Roux last year and steered the team to a home final which they lost to UP-Tuks. Rossouw came through the coaching ranks at Maties, coaching the Victorians before assisting Roux in 2012 and then taking on the head coach role this year. His side did not lose a single game until the final defeat to Tuks this year so he will have his sights set on going one better in 2014 and returning the Varsity Cup to Stellenbosch.

FNB UP-Tuks

Coach: Pote Human
Varsity Cup experience: None
Other experience: Blue Bulls 2005-06, Bulls forwards coach 2005-08, Griquas 2012-13

Having secured back-to-back Varsity Cup titles in 2012 and 2013 Nollis Marais has made way for the experienced Pote Human who will coach UP-Tuks in all competitions for the next three years. It will be a return to Pretoria for Human who was previously the Blue Bulls Currie Cup coach and the Bulls’ Super Rugby forwards coach before heading to Kimberley to coach Griquas for the last two years. His objective will be to continue the success that Marais achieved while providing valuable continuity at USSA and in the Carlton Cup.

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