WSU’s inspirational 2019 captain Phumlani Blaauw will fulfil a coaching role for the East London side in the 2020 Varsity Shield.
WSU had a disappointing season in 2019 compared to their usual standards.
The mighty All Blacks of 2018 won five of their six fixtures and eventually made it to the final after being defeated only twice, both times by the eventual winners, UWC.
2019 was a different story, though, the team won three of their six fixtures and bowed out of title contention in the semi-final after a loss to CPUT.
But former captain Phumlani Blaauw believes WSU will make amends in 2020.
‘Pre-season has been good up to now, the boys have been working hard in preparing for the upcoming season,’ said the burly prop.
‘First thing first is to do right by our supporters. We have to win all our home games and build from there going into the playoffs.’
Blaauw wasn’t allowed to play for the All Blacks this year due to Varsity Shield’s strict age policy, where players can no longer compete in the tournament after they reach 25. But he has more to add to his team and was appointed as assistant forwards coach.
‘I believe the head coach [Sipho Metula] and management believe I still have a role to play in the team and believe it could be advantageous seeing that I knew situations on the field and now I will be seeing it from the outside, so I could be of help.
‘I am working hand in hand with Lubabalo Lento helping with the forwards,’ explained Blaauw.
As delighted as he is to be in the coaching box, Blaauw concedes he will miss being out on the field.
‘I am going to miss everything about the field, the adrenaline rush when we play our home games, of course our bus trips to the stadium singing our war cries.’
The FNB Varsity Shield kicks off on 14 February, when FNB WSU will take on FNB CPUT in Cape Town.
Photo: Anthony Churchyard/Varsity Cup