Rovers on the brink

2008-09-12 00:00

Ryan Strudwick, the former Sharks, Maritzburg University and London Irish forward, is hoping to take College Rovers to the national club championship title in Stellenbosch this afternoon in his first year of coaching.

Rovers, who beat Brakpan 23-15 in the semi-final, face the Pukke, narrow 23-20 winners over the Maties, in the final.

Strudwick (35) is in his first full year of coaching after spending eight seasons playing in the UK for London Irish and two years at Irish province Connacht. He is officially Rovers’ player-coach, but said there has been no need for him to play at the championships.

“I’ve been on standby,” he said. “Everyone says I should play in the main game, but it’s the young players’ time now.”

Strudwick’s coaching career started by accident when regular Rovers coach Sean Everitt was seconded to the Sharks.

“The reasons for our success have been our team spirit, as well as the fact that the backs [fullback Chris Jordaan and centre Riaan Swanepoel] have come from the Sharks.”

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