Several school rugby coaching changes have caught the social media’s attention.
Selborne stand out head coach Phiwe Nomlomo who was also an SA Schools head coach during the Under-18 international season will be joining the Sharks as a specialist skills coach for all the Durban based unions teams. He will part ways with Selborne (his alma mater) and can be really proud of his 1st XV’s achievements these past two seasons. Phiwe was on course to bigger things in senior rugby before when he joined the EP Academy for the development of junior players and coached the EP u19 side, but things did not pan after the EPRU’s money too strain and particularly the funding by SARU for the Academy ended.
At the Sharks, Phiwe will team up with another new arrival Brent Janse van Rensburg, who for a very short time served as the man in charge of Grey High in Port Elizabeth. Brent has had numerous senior rugby head coaching positions in just a few seasons since then but perhaps his biggest plus was the recent Griquas Currie Cup campaign, while leaving the EP Kings during their financial crisis ahead of a Super Rugby season must surely rate as the biggest missed opportunity of his career, this after SARU later came to the contracting rescue that season.
Also in Durban, 150 plus year old DHS welcomes Nico le Roux as the permanent replacement for their celebrated old boy Scott Mathie who coincidently worked alongside Brent JVR at the Griquas this 2019 season. Nico surprisingly is moving the other way, away from senior pro rugby, where he seems to have reached a dizzy height unrivalled by most of the school rugby coaches nationally at the moment. He was once the New Zealand All Blacks Technical Advisor. DHS does seen a long way beneath that role but by all accounts word is that he is a top coach and it sounds like it will be a big acquisition for “School”. The new coaching set-up should be good. By all accounts former provincial prop Ronnie Uys who guided the first team as head coach will still be part of the coaching staff in a senior capacity.
Up north Ryno van der Merwe continues his tour of Pretoria, this time joining Affies from Garsfontein, where he played a key role in helping the Bere build on what a few sceptics believed would be a short-lived rugby success. Garsies enjoyed a terrific season in 2019 and celebrated it with six SA Schools caps. Although that success was very beneficial to the marketing of the co-ed, it had a negative consequence as well, as minus the star players, Garsfontein didn’t make the Virsekerbeker final, this after they topped a fairly competitive log. Prior to the four years at Garsfontein, Ryno served as Pretoria Boys’ High’s Head of Rugby. It’s well documented that Affies are celebrating their 100th birthday in 2020. The new headmaster might also see a shift in the Affies manner in which they approach rugby and securing top players. Either way Ryno’s experience is bound to be very useful to the Witbulle cause.
Down in the Winelands of the Boland, old boy Pieter Louw, who once upon a time captained the SA u19 team and later played WP provincial rugby, is getting on board with HJS Paarl Boys’ High. He will coach in an u14A capacity, oversee the junior age-groups and significantly he will become the face of their recruitment drive at grade-8 level. That probably means he’s work alongside their well-known scout Johnny van Niekerk .