Now that life after the holidays gets back to normal, rugby clubs across the peninsula are getting down to serious preparation for the upcoming 2023 season.
At Constantia, the home of Super League A (SLA) champions False Bay RFC, passers-by would be forgiven to think some thing was amiss as the fields are deserted in the evenings. Director of Rugby, Gunner Hughes has not moved his charges into hiding in preparation for their title defence.
Rather he has taken them to Wynberg Military Base for the first few weeks of their season as the fields at the Philip Herbstein Grounds undergo rehabilitation.
Hughes and his panel of coaches are already working on position-specific drills, honing the skills of their charges. Former Springbok prop, the iconic Keith Andrews is imparting his knowledge to the front row players at the club.
Widely regarded as the first modern-day prop in a dinosaur era, his nine Springbok caps all earned in the amateur era where props were big and pace was secondary, Andrews broke the mould. He honed has technique to anchor the Bok scrum in a position which after flyhalf, is regarded the most important selection any coach makes.
Hughes’s First XV coaching panel includes Pieter Benade on skills and Shaun van Rensburg as forwards coach while the Second XV will again be coached by Ryan van Niekerk, with Chris Hewetsen and Frans Boshoff continue their roles with the Third Team.
The under-20 section, the receptor to club rugby for young school-leavers, is headed by coaches Ashley Pierce and Kwaks Ngwanya, again supported by Richard Lawson, the former provincial centre, who was pivotal in the under-20A’s success last season. Kyle Bowerman and Aya Jolobe steer the B team through the season, which last season included participation in the UCT Internal League.
“Training at the Wynberg Military Camp and False Bay Crossfit has been enthusiastic, clear intent for the new season already obvious,” says Hughes.
“From a players perspective, it has been exciting. The main priority for me at this stage is maintaining the services of the First Team players who won the SLA2022 and we have a wealth of talent from the Seconds and Under 20s coming up.”
The Bay Women’s section continues to grow and coach Zoe Naude had her team pounding the tar this week in their first training of the season. They recorded a second place finish in the inaugural WP Women’s League last season. Considering that their first two years of existence were ambushed by cancelled seasons due to Covid, this group of players has become the club favourites, their commitment to the sport, joir de vivre and raw talent infectious.
Interested players needing information are welcome to contact Mike Stakemeier at email@example.com or Club Captain, Adam Odendaal on firstname.lastname@example.org. Any players interested in joining the women’s section are welcome to contact Zoe Naude on email@example.com.
- Jon Harris is a member of False Bay RFC.