It’s back to school for former Madibaz coach

Neale Emslie

NEW BOY: Welcoming the new director of rugby, Brent Janse van Rensburg,front, to Grey High yesterday are, back from left, chairman of the Old Grey Union Ian Pringle, rector Neil Crawford and master in charge of rugby Fenner Barnard. The boys are, from left, Dylan Vermaak, 17, Johann van Niekerk, 18, Jeremy Ward, 18, and Josh Mudrovcic,18. Picture: JUDY DE VEGA
NEW BOY: Welcoming the new director of rugby, Brent Janse van Rensburg,front, to Grey High yesterday are, back from left, executive manager of the Old Grey Union Ian Pringle, rector Neil Crawford and master in charge of rugby Fenner Barnard. The boys are, from left, Dylan Vermaak, 17, Johann van Niekerk, 18, Jeremy Ward, 18, and Josh Mudrovcic,18. Picture: JUDY DE VEGA

FORMER NMMU Madibaz rugby coach Brent Janse van Rensburg is excited about a new challenge when he joins Grey High as their director of rugby next month.

The former Westering pupil, who has had extensive coaching experience at school and provincial level, takes over from ex-EP Kings player Rory Duncan, who took a coaching post with the Free State Rugby Union this year after two seasons as the Grey coach.

Janse van Rensburg, however, will not replace Duncan as coach but instead will work in conjunction with coaches Andrewe Hayidakis and Tim Fraser, who have been handling the first team’s pre- season preparations this year.

“I have been appointed director of rugby and there are two coaches with the first team in Hayidakis and Fraser so my job is to oversee the whole infrastructure of school rugby from under-14 level to the first team,” Janse van Rensburg said yesterday.

“I will be with the first team in terms of overseeing their preparations, and giving assistance and guidance. But I will be looking at the whole structure of the school from coaching and development to the recruitment of the players and the implementation of a rugby model.

“At an age-group level there will be related working areas and schemes that we need to implement so there is a proper conduit from under-14 level to the first team.

“So Andrewe and Tim will be staying on as coaches and we will be working together to take the game forward.” Janse van Rensburg left the NMMU post after taking the Madibaz to the semifinals of the Varsity Cup last season.

It represented a massive turnaround for the varsity, having earlier been the whipping boys of the competition.

“I had a contract with NMMU until 2017, but I just felt that we did a lot of work to get it to where it is now and I found I was just looking for more balance to my family life,” Janse van Rensburg, who is married but does not have children, said.

“I just wanted to be able to be at home in the evenings with my wife and from the level at which NMMU are performing the hours were quite demanding and personal time at home was lacking.”

Janse van Rensburg previously coached the Queen’s College rugby team and was in charge of the Border Craven Week team for two years. He later coached Border at Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup level. He feels his latest assignment is the perfect fit for him.

“Grey is a prestigious school, steeped in history and with a high level of excellence,” he said. “I think I can impart some knowledge gained over the years to the boys and the school, and help to implement a sustainable rugby model and infrastructure that can carry the school into the future. For me this is the right balance all round.”

Those who think too much emphasis is placed on having a good rugby team will find Janse van Rensburg with a sympathetic ear.

“You cannot just pick a rugby model and throw it into the environment. You need to look at the environment and assess the players’ academic load and find the best model to ensure there is a balance.”

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