KZN has wisely enlisted the help of three of the province’s top SBR coaches to take charge of the Sharks age-group teams at the respective national tournaments.
Jeremy McLaren (Westville) – Craven Week
Scott Mathee (DHS) – Academy Week
Grant Bell (Clifton) – Grant Khomo Week
KZN has coaching talent
With Sean Erasmus’s replacement at Boishaai in the process of being finalised, one would be tempted to say that if KZN had put forward three viable highly-rated candidates for that big shoes to fill job at Brug Straat, it would be these three youth week coaches above. The other coach who comes to mind is Derek Heiberg of Glenwood, who has had a sterling season and whose tactical awareness has impressed many. And there are other guys who are right up there as well. A good example would be Kevin van Rensburg of Westville u16A, who like Heiberg has built a solid reputation in KZN senior club rugby and is producing the desired results at school level.
Like Erasmus, current Paul Roos Gymnasium coach Ryno Combrinck, who must surely be the leading candidate for SBR coach of the year, also made a name for himself in KZN. Given his experience and coaching pedigree Andre Tredoux, who is currently at Boishaai, would be a worthy replacement for Erasmus…and guess what…he also used KZN school rugby as a stepping stone and hasn’t looked back.
Westville head coach Jeremy McLaren has been through a bit of a nightmare season due to as many as 22 Ville 1st XV wider group players being unavailable at a stage, not to mention a handful being suspended at the start of the campaign. However in spite of this, his star continues to shine very brightly and his past success at youth week level speaks for itself.
DHS head coach Scott Mathee continues to tick the boxes as one of the brightest up and coming prospects, as evidenced by the pleased style of play of the Horseflies from the Berea. Mathee’s move up the ladder from KZN Grant Khomo Week, possibly means he’s a step closer to being the next Craven Week head coach. At the same time one has to wonder when pro rugby coaching will come knocking on his door, begging him to sign up to the big times.
Westville 1st XV rugby didn’t really ever recover after Grant Bell departed and before McLaren joined. These days Bell oversees day school Clifton’s rugby development. With the competition for the small pool of talented KZN based rugby players being so tough and without having a BE, its work cut out for the very young private high school to make their mark. However Bell has a reputation of being a careful forward planner and a master strategist, which generally give team’s coached by him an edge over those with not as switched on coaching compliments.