Durbanville, the Cape Town Northern Suburbs Co-ed, the Western Province’s top B-league school and comfortably the best B-league rugby school in the country at the moment, are in the market for a new Director of Rugby.
The closing date is 13 November 2023. It’s the tightest of tight windows. The close deadline suggests that their advert is merely a formality and that their committee may already be certain of who they want as the next rugby head.
If the latter is true and Durbies have not yet committed to anything in writing, they should really try to hold off on signing until they honour the DOR appointment process from start to finish, in an effort to be sure they are making the best possible decision.
This is not to say that they may not have a top candidate lined up for the job, all its implying is acknowledged that some good heavyweights are going to throw their names into the hat for this work and it won’t hurt to carefully consider those applicants, just in case one or more of them is surfaces to be considered a better fit.
The Durbies rocky road with head coaches suggests they know what they do not want. The successful future of the rugby programme is however all about getting to the core of what they DO WANT! Don’t approach the decision as if it’s a position for the Board to terminate in 10-months’ time. The right man is someone they can see running things in a positive pleasing way for the next 10-years. Rash decisions, poor understanding of the requirements, sloppy research, fishbowl mentality, buddy-buddy, etc. are never the right path to follow for a key appointment like this one.
Around SA, be it small school, big school, underachiever, overachiever, elite or ordinary; rarely is a DOR position an easy job. That said the Durbies rugby programme is nicely teed up. Just compare them to fellow WP B-league school Parel Vallei, who recently appointed a good new DOR in Alwyn Burger. He has his work cut-out for him just trying to get PV to the same level as Durbies and if successful, it will take him a few seasons if not more to get there. As far as rugby is concerned, Durbies have made big strides in recent years to up their rugby profile, the fixture list offers good exposure to players and importantly they have been competitive and offer players good development. The neighbourhood they are in is a good one. The school is well-run. Academics etc is of a high standard.
But they are parting ways with a coach that gave them a 77% win ratio in 34 matches over two seasons and knocked over a few big guns along the way. Does this mean that if the next guy falls short of that target, he’s toast or are the decision-makers at the school learning from the past, picking up rugby-related experience and looking to be sensible going forward?
In a nutshell when it comes to rugby, Durbies need to become more like their near neighbours and biggest rivals Stellenberg. Find a coach like Divan Batt! The Jade Brigade have been ticking all the right boxes for several years in a row now. They are consistent, they “stell-bility-berg” . Durbanville at this juncture feels more like “undurb-fined-ville”, still looking to truly define their path. The chopping-and-changing can only get you so far.