Super Rugby

Sharks assistant Brent Janse van Rensburg: I can now simply coach again

Brent Janse van Rensburg (Gallo)
Brent Janse van Rensburg (Gallo)
  • Despite his previous successes as head coach, Brent Janse van Rensburg doesn't consider his job title at the Sharks as a 'demotion'.
  • The former Pumas and Griquas mentor says he has the opportunity now to just engage in good old-fashioned coaching at Kings Park.
  • The Sharks' inclusive and collective culture fits him like a glove.

Trying to determine what makes Brent Janse van Rensburg tick beyond rugby is a toothless task.

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The Sharks' assistant coach, whose stock is rising after a promising start to his career in the "big leagues" after massive successes at the Pumas and Griquas, has steadfastly kept his private life out of the sport's domain.

It's a stance deserving of respect.

It also means that one's reliant on bits and cues to craft a profile on him, though it's abundantly clear that his human-centred approach to the game is a perfect fit for the Durbanites' new culture of inclusivity.

By now it's well-known that Janse van Rensburg has left indelible marks at every level he's coached.

As a teenager he embarked on a trip to Alan Zondagh's Rugby Performance Centre with the simple aim peppering him with questions; coached Border's Craven Week team and won eight of his nine games at the tournament; led the Madibaz to their only Varsity Cup semi-final appearance ever in 2013; mentored a magnificent Grey High vintage in 2014; and won the SuperSport Rugby Challenge in Nelspruit and Kimberley.

That type of CV would've reasonably easily landed him a gig at a leading union in recent seasons - probably even at the same job grade.

Refreshingly, Janse van Rensburg realises his ambitions by still biding his time.

Just because he achieved tangible progress at the Pumas and Griquas doesn't mean he expects his next move to be head coach of a Super Rugby franchise.

Instead, the 39-year-old is relishing his portfolio at Kings Park, which includes the lineouts, defence and kicking game.

In a nutshell, he's simply coaching again.

"Although I'm thankful for all my past experiences, it has been a breath of fresh air not having to undertake the variety of challenges one finds in a smaller union," Janse van Rensburg told Sport24.

"You constantly have to put on many hats to ensure the realisation of a rugby programme that aids you to punch above your weight.

"Being in a bigger union allows you to focus more on coaching and finding ways to grow on a micro level, which is nice."

Growth clearly was the key consideration for him in becoming part of head coach Sean Everitt's project and it's once again noticeable how the Port Elizabeth native values the interpersonal aspect of his job: building relationships and embracing the collective ahead of individualism.

"The move to Durban has proven to be rewarding and I'm grateful to be working with we some really gifted people," said Janse van Rensburg.

"It became time for another challenge and I'm incredibly grateful to The Sharks for seeing potential in me."  

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