SARugbymag.co.za talks to Shimlas coach Michael Horak about the upcoming Varsity Cup.
Are there any changes to your squad?
We've got a few new faces, but essentially the bulk of our squad of last year remained with us.
How has the squad prepared for the competition?
When we started training last year, we focused on conditioning. At the moment we are busy with field sessions. We played warm-ups against our Varsity Cup rivals UJ and the Cheetahs and I can clearly see the progress we've made from last year to where we are now.
What have you learned from last year's campaign?
The point-scoring system is very interesting, forcing teams to do things differently than they would do normally and it takes some getting used to. Nonetheless, this is an intense but brilliant competition.
What are your thoughts on the duel-ref system?
It adds a new and exciting element to the game. Again it will take time to get used to, but I think it'll be worth it for rugby in the long term.
What are your goals for the tournament?
Obviously try to win the whole thing; that's why and what we play for anyway. I'm confident if the majority of our boys can remain injury-free, we'll be in the play-offs or thereabout and then we'll be in with a shot.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images