Former Springbok hooker, Tiaan Liebenberg, has been appointed the new head coach for CUT Rugby Club, taking the FNB Ixias into the 2017 FNB Varsity Cup, presented by Steinhoff International.
Liebenberg is not a stranger to the Free State rugby culture. He matriculated at Grey College in 2000 and played undergraduate rugby at NWU-Pukke, before making his provincial debut for Griquas (2002).
He followed this up with successful Currie Cup stints for the Cheetahs (2006), Western Province/Stormers (2007/8) and even joined Toulon in France (2008/9).
Liebenberg gained valuable experience during the 2007 Springbok rugby tour to England, wearing the Green and Gold against the Barbarians that year.
In 2009 this burley No. 2 played for SA ‘A’ against the British and Irish Lions.
His front row skills were developed extensively during the 2012 Castle Championship campaign (then still named the Tri Nations tournament), playing for the Boks.
“I would like to be part of the vision whereby we want to develop our players into becoming total individuals,” Liebenberg said. “Players should develop themselves as players, academically as well as young men, focussing on their human development as well as their rugby talents and skills development.
“I feel excited about the mix of experienced senior players and young, talented players coming through into the senior ranks of the club. We managed to obtain the services of new experienced players to help us with the development of younger players,” he said.
Liebenberg feels confident about the experienced team assistants in charge of CUT Rugby.
“We have a very experienced team of people in charge of rugby at the CUT. Reynard Erwee, Helgard Muller and Skillie Bester will be most valuable in assisting me taking the university to greater levels, developing each player in all facets of their lives,” he feels.
“I am under no illusion. We all realise that CUT is probably one of the smallest rugby universities in the country, but we can assure you we approach our whole coaching strategy in an utmost professional way, from player conditioning in the gymnasium, to medical support management and playing techniques.
“We need to be professional in every aspect of rugby, to promote and maintain a healthy rugby culture and structure at the CUT,” he said, smiling confidently.
According to Liebenberg, team spirit is of utmost importance.
“To be successful will require hard work, dedication and discipline. However, we need to establish happy players as well, because all of the what I’ve mentioned will guarantee that every member in this team functions in a spirit of success; players and management alike,” he concluded.
By Carel Korff