City Vision

New year, new season: Rugby clubs gear up for long slog

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Jonathan Raphael, head coach of Masiphumelele in Noordhoek, who is playing in Super League C.
Jonathan Raphael, head coach of Masiphumelele in Noordhoek, who is playing in Super League C.

Rugby clubs in the Western Province Rugby Union are all looking forward to the 2023 season and are busy with pre-season preparation for the different leagues.

New players and coaches are on the pitches, friendlies are being organised and the conditioning coaches are cracking the whip to help players getting rid of the over-indulgence over the festive season.

The different leagues were determined starting from the zones to Super League A. Derbies and encounters between old foes and new teams are being marked on the calender and you can be assured of grudge matches par excellence.

The different teams who gained promotion are making sure they have the depth to give a good account of themselves in their new leagues.

Others are working on their shortfalls and implementing new game plans and getting players fit for promotion.

To test the fitness skills of the players, clubs from WP and Boland are taking part in 7s tournaments with the first one the weekend of Friday 27 and Saturday 28 January at the Wesbank 7s in Malmesbury.

The Hillcrest 7s in Wellington is also being held on Saturday 28 January to give other clubs the opportunity to also test the fitness levels of their players. Scottsdene-Central is hosting their 7s on Saturday 4 February.

Masiphumelele in Noordhoek, playing in Super League C this year, is sporting a new first team coaching unit.

The head coach is Jonathan Raphael, assisted by Morné Smal.

The second team has retained their coaches of Siyanda Gray and Nathan Gogela, while Frank Charlie is the new u-20 coach. Charlie will also provide the seniors with scrum coaching.

Club legends will be assisting throughout the year in terms of coaching and mentoring which is crucial to the development of squads.

Sandile India, ex-captain of the club, will assist the seniors with lineouts and Siyasanga Mkiva will be targeting the breakdown.

An exciting new addition is Roxy Fairley, who will provide strength and conditioning for the senior and u-20 squads out of the local gym Caracals Fitness.

The teams in the different leagues are:

Super League A: Maties, Ikeys, Durbell, False Bay, Uni-Mil, UWC, Villagers, NTK, St. Georges, Helderberg, Kuils River, Hamlets, Hamiltons, Tygerberg and Brackenfell.

Super League B: SK-Walmers, Paarl, Hands & Heart, Belhar, Franschhoek, Young Peoples, Kylemore, Strand, Bellville, Collegians, Vineyards, All Saints, CPUT, Langa and Primrose.

Super League C: Hamediehs, Masiphumelele, Van der Stel-Evergreens, Busy Bee, Scottsdene-Central, Goodwood, Macassar, Blue Stars, Morningstar, Rangers, Albions, Elsies River, Pniel-Villagers, Blue Jets, Eersterivier en Kraaifontein.

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