SARugbymag.co.za talks to Wits coach Andrew Royle about the upcoming Varsity Cup.
Are there any changes to your squad?
We've managed to get a couple of new players up front and one or two at the back. We lost four players, three on the age restriction and one who decided to leave the rugby scene to open his own medical practice in Cape Town.
How has the squad prepared for the competition?
We had a training camp in White River. It wasn't just a free holiday; we approached the camp very professionally, even more so than others. I hope that professionalism shows in their individual performances. We played two pre-season games against Rustenburg Impala and UKZN and we'll play one more against UJ. There's also talk of a match against the Lions' Vodacom Cup squad but nothing's confirmed yet.
What have you learned from last year's campaign?
You can't do much without the ball, that's why I felt the need to beef-up our tight five. And with the points being tallied differently, making one silly mistake will cost you eight points.
What are your thoughts on the duel-ref system?
Personally I'm fine with it, however, it does place more pressure on the players. We've just got to manage them a little better in order for them to keep their discipline on the field.
What are your goals for the tournament?
To keep our destiny in our own hands. We don't want a promotion-relegation play-off situation at the end of the season. Other than that, we will take it one game at a time. I always tell the guys that the next game is the most important one.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images