NEWS ARTICLES
Nowhere to hide in 2013 Varsity Rugby season
January 21, 2013
The 2013 Varsity Rugby season kicked-off in fine style at the Serengeti Wildlife & Golf Estate Clubhouse in Kempton Park on Monday, with an exciting air of unpredictability hanging over the main tournament.

Now in its sixth season, the 2013 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International remains the headline act of Varsity Rugby, with the three additional competitions - the Varsity Shield, the Varsity Young Guns and the Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championships - providing a more than able 'back-up' to the Cup.

FNB UP-Tuks deservedly became the first northern winners in the Varsity Cup last season, but teams like last year's losing finalists, the FNB Maties, will be waiting for the new champions in 2013.

Nollis Marais continues as coach in Pretoria, despite handing over Tuks' Carlton League reins, whilst the Maties - for the first time ever - will start the Varsity Cup without their canny mentor Chean Roux, former Springbok flyhalf Chris Rossouw having taken over in Stellenbosch.

Another former international rugby player, Michael Horak (who won one cap for England in 2002), has joined the fray as the new FNB Shimlas coach; meaning that every team in the history of the Varsity Cup has now had at least one change of coach since 2008.

Ex-Maties boss Roux and former Shimlas coach Jaco Swanepoel had both been part of the Varsity Cup furniture since 2008 but have joined the likes of John Dobson (UCT - now Western Province), Matthew Proudfoot (NWU-Pukke - now Stormers/WP) and Nollis Marais (UP-Tuks and Bulls) in having landed provincial coaching jobs - at senior or youth provincial level. Marais, however, will continue as Tuks' coach during the Varsity Cup - with Bart Schoeman (who will assist Marais during the Varsity Cup) coaching the team during the Carlton League.

Of course, current Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer was part of the UP-Tuks coaching staff in 2011 and Meyer's Bok predecessor, Peter de Villiers, has since landed a job as UWC's coaching director in the Varsity Shield.

Speaking at Monday's launch in Kempton Park, which had former Springbok captain Bob Skinstad as the MC and SARU CEO Jurie Roux addressing the audience, Varsity Cup Managing Director Duitser Bosman said: "Without long-serving coaches like Chean and Jaco there is a different feeling in the air this year... a feeling of uncertainty, but all in a good way, of course.

"Losing two experienced coaches like Chean and Jaco would be a blow to anyone, but, at the same time, it gives new coaches an opportunity to make a name for themselves in a tough tournament like the Varsity Cup. Hopefully these new coaches will stay in their jobs for a long period and add value at a higher level in SA Rugby in years to come.

"There is plenty to play for, for everyone, in what is set to be one of the most open Varsity Cup tournaments since the inaugural tournament kicked-off in 2008. It's an exciting phase for us, as organisers, with all the new faces and we look forward to seeing how it plays out in the 2013 season - in the Cup, Shield, Young Guns and Koshuis tournaments."

SARU CEO Jurie Roux, Chairman of the Varsity Cup Board, commented: "The Varsity Cup is a well-organised tournament and such an asset to SA Rugby in giving so many new young talents the opportunity to showcase their abilities. We're all looking forward to another exciting and successful year of Varsity Rugby."

The 2013 Varsity Rugby action will get underway at the end of January with the Varsity Shield tournament kicking-off on January 28.

Defending Varsity Cup champions, FNB UP-Tuks, will get their Varsity Cup title defence off to a tricky start when they travel to Potchefstroom to take on the FNB NWU-Pukke on Monday, February 4 at 7pm.

In a slight change to the schedule this year there will be two finals weeks in the 2013 Varsity Rugby competition. April 1 will see the Varsity Shield and Young Guns Finals take place, followed by two more finals the next week; the Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championships Final and the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International Final - both of which will take place on Monday, April 8.

The much talked-about points-scoring system of two points for a penalty and a drop-goal and three points for a conversion, which was first trialled last year, will continue in 2013.

Geen wegkruipplek in 2013 Varsity Rugby seisoen

Die 2013 Varsity Rugby seisoen het Maandag met styl by die Serengeti Gholf en Wildlewe Landgoed buite Kempton Park afgeskop, met die lug reeds swaar van afwagting en onsekerheid oor die seisoen wat wag.

Nà ses seisoene bly die 2013 FNB Varsitybeker, aangebied deur Steinhoff Internasionaal, steeds die hoofslagaar van Varsity Rugby, met drie bykomende kompetisies – die Varsityskild, die Varsity Jong Turke en die Steinhoff Koshuisrugbykampioenskap – wat gereed staan om die rugbyervaring nog meer uniek te maak.

FNB UP-Tuks het verdienstelik die eerste noordelike wenners van die Varsitybeker geword toe hulle in 2012 met die titel kon wegstap, maar spanne soos die FNB Maties sal dit nie maklik maak vir die nuwe kampioene nie.

Maar die Maties sal vir die eerste keer die toernooi sonder Chean Roux as afrigter begin. Die gewese Springbok-losskakel, Chris Rossouw, gaan Roux se stewels probeer volstaan.

Nog ‘n gewese internasionale speler, die voormalige Engelse toetsheelagter, Michael Horak (2002), maak sy afrigtingsdebuut en sal die FNB Shimlas brei. Dit beteken dat al die spanne sedert die ontstaan van die Varsitybeker in 2008 nou minstens een nuwe afrigter gehad het.

Roux en die gewese Shimlas-afrigter, Jaco Swanepoel was sedert 2008 in beheer, maar sluit nou aan by ander afrigters soos John Dobson (UCT, nou DHL Westelike Provinsie), Matthew Proudfoot (NWU-Pukke, nou DHL Stormers) en Nollis Marais (UP-Tuks, nou Vodacom Blou Bulle) wat provinsiale afrigters geword het.

Marais sal steeds die span van UP-Tuks tydens die Varsitybeker afrig, met Bart Schoeman wat daarna weer sal oorneem vir die provinsiale Carltonliga.

Die huidige Springbok-afrigter, Heyneke Meyer, was natuurlik deel van UP-Tuks se afrigtingspan in 2011 en sy Springbok-voorganger, Peter de Villiers, is intussen as direkteur van afrigting by UWK aangestel en sal die span in die Varsityskild brei.

Tydens Maandag se bekendstelling, waar die gewese Springbok-kaptein Bob Skinstad die gasheer was en SARU se uitvoerende hoof, Jurie Roux ‘n toespraak gemaak het, was daar min twyfel by Varsitybeker se hoofbeampte, Duitser Bosman, dat voorspellings vanjaar onvanpas voel.

“Sonder die teenwoordigheid van ervare afrigters soos Chean en Jaco voel dinge beslis vir my anders vanjaar, maar in ‘n goeie, positiewe manier,” het Bosman gesê.

“Om twee sulke ervare afrigters in ‘n kompetisie soos diè te verloor sal deur enige span gevoel word, maar dit gee terselfdertyd aan hul opvolgers ‘n uitstekende geleentheid om hul merk te maak. Hopelik kan die nuwe afrigters lank in hul poste bly en uiteindelik waarde toevoeg tot Suid-Afrikaanse rugby.”

Bosman meen daar was lanklaas soveel moontlike wenners soos in 2013.

“Daar is soveel om voor te speel en met die kompetisie beslis die mees mededingendste sedert die begin daarvan in 2008, kan enige span die titel wen. Dit is ‘n opwindende tyd vir ons as organiseerders en met soveel nuwe gesigte in die onderskeie kompetisies, een waarvoor ons beswaarlik kan wag.”

SARU se bedryfshoof en voorsitter van die Varsitybeker se raad, Jurie Roux, het die kompetisie se bydrae tot die spel geloof.

“Dit is ‘n toernooi wat uitstekend georganiseer word en voeg op soveel terreine waarde toe tot Suid-Afrikaanse rugby, veral omdat dit aan jong en nuwe talent ‘n uitstalvenster bied. Ons sien almal uit na ‘n suksesvolle en opwindende jaar van Varsity Rugby.”

Die 2013 seisoen skop af met die Varsityskild en die eerste wedstryde daar word op 28 Januarie gespeel.

Die verdedigende Varsitybekerkampioene, FNB UP-Tuks, begin op 4 Februarie om hulle titel te verdedig as hulle Potchefstroom toe reis om die NWU-Puk te pak.

Die formaat van die toernooi is effens aangepas en daar sal vanjaar twee naweke van eindstryde wees.

Op 1 April sal die eindstryde van die Varsityskild en die Varsity Jong Turke gespeel word. ‘n Week later, op 8 April, volg die eindstryde van die Steinhoff Koshuisrugbykampioenskap en die FNB Varsitybeker, aangebied deur Steinhoff Internasionaal.

Die veelbesproke punte-aanpassings, wat verlede jaar op proef gestel is, word weer gebruik, met ‘n strafdoel en skepdoel wat twee punte werd is en ‘n doelskop wat drie punte tel.

MATCH CENTRE
FIXTURES
     
RESULTS
     
FNB Varsity Shield presented by Steinhoff International
Monday, February 02 2015
16:45 - FNB UWC vs FNB UKZN
UWC Sport Stadium, Bellville
19:00 - FNB TUT vs FNB UFH
TUT Stadium, Pretoria
HSBC Sevens World Series New Zealand
Friday, February 06 2015
01:00 - South Africa vs France
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
01:21 - USA vs Japan
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
01:42 - Australia vs Wales
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
02:03 - Fij vs Portugal
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
02:24 - Argentina vs Kenya
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
02:46 - Scotland vs Samoa
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
03:08 - New Zealand vs Canada
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
03:30 - England vs Papa New Guinea
Westpac Stadium, Wellington

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