Impi’s coaches shine

2013-11-14 00:00

THE gathering of alumni, players and supporters at the “Breakfast with Mitch” get-together with former All Blacks head coach John Mitchell at the varsity rugby stadium on the Pietermaritzburg campus yesterday were pleasantly surprised. The man who is now at the helm of the UKZN Impi has gathered an exciting support staff around him for the 2014 Varsity Shield campaign.

“It’s amazing when you ask for help who comes forward,” Mitchell told The Witness.

“Butch James is going to be the backline and kicking coach. Butch wants to put something back into Maritzburg rugby, which has given him a lot,” Mitchell said of the PMB-born and educated Rugby World Cup 2007-winning flyhalf for the Springboks.

Seasoned, highly regarded Ryno Combrinck of Michaelhouse will be taking the forwards. Ryan Strudwick of Maritzburg College will look after re-starts, which Mitchell said has been a problem for the Impi and an area where he wants to see growth. Meanwhile Dylan Campbell of Pelham Primary School is going to be the skills and attack coach.

That’s the Varsity Shield group. Shawn van Rensburg (the Voortrekker coach) will be the head of forwards coaching for all of UKZN Rugby Club’s teams and league coaches in order to bolster what has been an Achilles heel for the student sides against older and significantly bigger club forward packs. Resource coaches like Van Rensburg will add value to the Varsity teams.

“During the league season I will play a resource roll as well … so it’s about maximising and pooling our resources in order to try and create an optimal environment, and also create a process under the rugby committee where we will have a match committee that will meet to discuss injury problems for example and help each other’s teams out to give them the best possible opportunity to succeed,” said Mitchell.

“There has been a lot of student interest but it is dependent on qualification through academic admissions and if all goes to plan we will have an exciting group of players with the objective to get into the Varsity Cup and retain those students over three years.”

There will be two big training camps in the first and second weeks of December, one in PMB, the other in Durban. A squad of about 40 players will be trimmed down to about 28 to 30 before Mitchell names the final Impi squad for the Varsity Shield season a week before the first match at the end of January.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.