10 significant school rugby coach changes for 2018

10 Gert Lindeque HTS Middelburg Lindeque has done the rounds at schools in the Lions region. Officially he joins the Rooibulle from Monnas but he’s served at Helpmekaar and even Linden in the past. He will oversee all coaching at HTS but perhaps the biggest plus of having him onboard is the power of his OneSport organisation, who have a super network in place and access to many A-team quality schoolboy rugby players, some of whom could be persuaded to make the Pumas region powerhouse school their home over the next few seasons.
9 Jonny Mallett Kingswood In truth the former St David’s rugby coach took over for the last two games of the 2017 season, so technically this isn’t his first season in charge, just his first full season. The history teacher effectively combines the roles of Director of Rugby and 1st XV Head Coach. Kingswood were a run everything team under Gareth Shaw who’s moved to the u16A’s. It’s expected the team will embrance a more all-rounded attacking approach under the new coach, who is an old boy of KIngswood’s fiercest rivals St Andrew’s.
8 Adam Robertson Hudson Park Selborne’s loss is Hudson’s gain. The respected coach has penned a 3-year deal at the East London Co-ed and it’s believed he is the right man to help them achieve their ambition of becoming a SA Top 20 rugby school.
7 Derek Heiberg Glenwood It’s potentially a big season for Glenwood and critical to success is that the new Head Coach hits the ground running. Heiberg hasn’t been at Glenwood too long, but he’s climbed the ladder to the top very quickly, suggesting he has qualities that those around him have identified with and are willing to back.
6 Sam Mofokeng Michaelhouse A new chapter in the history of KZN school rugby will be written here. Donald Ngwenya coached the Northwood 1st XV for a season a few years ago but he was an external appointment. Sam Mokokeng will therefore become the first fully fledged teacher (English) to be promoted to the top coaching position at a KZN school and is still only one of a handful of coaches of African descent in charge of a top level school team in SA. There hasn’t been an official announcement at House about him taking the reins. Then again so much is new about House’s rugby setup for 2018 that this segment could just as easily been dedicated to James Fleming (new Head of Rugby from EPRU) or Ryan Strudwick (new Head of Sport from the Sharks).
5 Len Olivier EG Jansen The Affies old boy arrived at EG as part of a rugby SOS following the departure of numerous rugby coaches to other schools (amongst them Regardt Botha to Menlopark’s 1st XV) and creating the impression that all was not well at Jansies. Olivier was one of those very promising school players who didn’t quite achieve those same heights as a senior player, but has that exposure to add as part of his coaching CV now. He will be Director of Rugby and 1st XV Head Coach.
4 Jeremy McLaren Westville A massive coup for Westville Boys’ High came in the form of highly rated Jeremy McLaren, who joined from Glenwood. McLaren happened to also be behind KZN’s best youth week achievements in a long time, having guided the Grant Khomo and Craven Week teams to unofficial finals. Ville is another of those schools where things don’t appear to be gelling behind the scenes and it seems to have played out in their on-field results. They have the right coach and now it’s crucial that they work extra hard to create the right working environment for their staff.
3 Phiwe Nomlomo Selborne East London based Selborne is a school that produces the quality of players to allow them flirt with a Top 10 national finish in most seasons so the rugby post is a high profile one. With Kevin Taylor, the long-standing Head Coach having stepped down, after enjoying several very successful campaigns during his time (and a few bad ones), the baton passes to old boy Phiwe Nomlomo who was a celebrated school player in his day. Hghly rated as a coach, Nomlomo showed enough potential while assistance to Taylor during his previous spell at the Border powerhouse school to be picked up by the EP Academy at a time when things were going swimmingly well for the Union at junior rugby levels. Irrespective that it’s an exciting brand new chapter in Selborne history and a lot of confidence that Phiwe is the right man for the job, the true measure will be in the results.
2 Ryno Combrinck Paul Roos New rector Andre van Staden wasted no time in establishing exactly where he stands on the value of rugby to Paul Roos’s culture. This paved the way for a top notch coach in the form of rugby guru Ryno Combrinck to be lured away from Michaelhouse where he had achieved huge success and as a result was on a very good wicket. Combrinck comes in as Director of Rugby. This coupled with a bit of tweeking of their once very rigid rugby recruitment policy, could well push Paul Roos to the forefront of schoolboy rugby in SA.
1 Andre Tredoux HJS Paarl Boys’ High With assistant Elmo Wolfaardt (also WP Craven Week coach) departing to join Klein Boishaai 600m away, there was always the option of retaining his services as part of a highly successful 1st XV coaching setup. However Boihaai instead went out and found themselves a real gem in the form of Andre Tredoux, a promising coach with one of the best eye’s for talent spotting in SA. As a junior coach slash recruiter for the Leopards and Free State,Tredoux had built his reputation on uncovering hidden talent. In many senses he was the perfect candidate for the roles as not only was he an astute coach, he knew how to make a tiny budget go a long way. Players such as Lood de Jager, Seabelo Senatla, Akker van der Merwe and Scottish international Cornell du Preez got their first breaks via Tredoux. Interestingly his appointment reunites two former KZN minnow coaches from wayback when. Celebrated HJS head coach Sean Erasmus is himself expected to become subject of much speculation in the months to come as his contract with the school comes to end. Based on his reputation now, he will no doubt have some very good offers to weigh up.


  1. Andre has started with the 1stXV training squad. my son says he is an awesome person and coach.

  2. Best of luck also to Regardt Botha at 1st XV, Hoërskool Menlopark, Pretoria.
    Im sure there is alot of interest in him and his teams performance this year with all expectations making a success of 2018.

  3. Good luck to Sam Mofokeng. We have very pleasant memories of his short stint at St Alban’s.

  4. Can’t imagine a Selborne side without young Mr Taylor at the helm. Well done Phiwe you’ve earned your stripes.

    @QC2000: Who’s the QC head coach this year?

  5. @Playa: Same head coach (Clinton Loest), new forwards coach Lamla Mneli (1996 vintage). Brilliant rugby player in his day

  6. @QC2000: Lamla Maneli 8-O…. He’s my cousin I know him quite well. I had no idea. Good going! Now I know who’ll be buying my beers at reunion. Besides QC86 of course :mrgreen:

  7. Op die punt van afrigting ens… Franco Smith is besig om goeie dinge te doen in die vrystaat, ek was Donderdag bietjie in Bloem en het die wedstryde wat in die O19 liga gespeel word gekyk, games word in n baie goeie gees gespeel en daar word kans gegee vir laaitys wat nie noodwendig by die cheetahs gekontrakteer is nie, ek het n paar manne gesien wat nogal potensiaal het… As die vrystaat op so n wyse nog n paar O 19 spelers kan raak sien sal dit goed wees…. Ek persoonlik sal die varsity koshuise ook by die liga betrek

  8. Menlopark will be a powerhouse with the ex coach of EG Jansen,Regardt Botha now taking over there. You will see scrum power and rucks and mauls and drives from line outs improving drastically at Menlo because this is where EG Jansen was strong with him as coach.

  9. Only just noticed Adam.Where’s James Wisntanley? Anyway….when Griffy and Barry eventually grow old we will take Adam and Winsty back home….’99 BOYS!!!

    Well done Adam.

  10. @Playa: James Winstanley still very much involved at Hudson Park. He is Head of Rugby and takes charge of defence for the 1st XV.

    Ludwe Booi is their forwards coach and Khanyisa Mpumlwana is handling the backs.

  11. Interesting with Reinhard Gerber having left Stirling to join Glenwood, one of the Stirling 1st XV coaches for this season is Russell Bennett the former Bok fullback.

  12. So what is happening on the Dale vs Queens front?

    Maybe play those games at JJ Serfontein


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