Madibaz sign up new coach for sevens team

George Byron

FORMER Spanish international sevens player Ryan le Roux will mastermind the Madibaz sevens rugby team’s bid for honours at the Varsity Sports Sevens tournament in Camp’s Bay from November 28 to December 1.

With the South African leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Port Elizabeth on December 7 and 8, sevens fever is building in the city.

The Madibaz have enjoyed fine form in the 15-man format of the game and they will hope Le Roux can help the sevens team achieve similar success.

After graduating from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 2007 with a degree in Human Movement Sciences, and having represented the Eastern Province Currie Cup side, Le Roux began looking for a contract overseas.

He was approached by Spain and after 18 months played his way into the IRB Sevens Spanish side.

“The IRB circuit was amazing,” Le Roux said.

“I had the opportunity to play on a great platform against some of the world’s top teams.”

The Spanish side secured victories against top teams such as Samoa, but Le Roux never faced South Africa.

After living in Spain for four years, Le Roux decided it was time to come back home and go into coaching.

“I believe having played under good coaches is the key to being a good coach,” Le Roux said.

He has drawn up a three-year plan for the Madibaz sevens rugby with this season’s focus on producing a strong team culture.

The squad, a fine mix of both young and experienced players, has been training for the tournament since the middle of last month.

As the conditioning coach for the 15-man Madibaz side, Le Roux hopes the sevens tournament will also feed new players into next year’s Varsity Cup team.

NMMU sport manager Kolie Brandt is quietly confident about their chances, despite their difficult pool with each of the 10 teams playing five games on the first day, and four on the second, before the semifinals and finals.

“With Ryan’s international experience, I believe our chances are good to make it to the finals.”

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