‘Striving for optimum performance’

SARugbymag.co.za chats to Wynberg Boys High 1st XV coach Justin van Winkel about the upcoming season.

How many of last year's 1st XV players are still in the squad?
Last year we headed into the season with only two players from the previous season, which opened opportunities for the youngsters to step up to the plate, which they did with aplomb. We are now heading into the 2014 season with 16 players left from the 2013 squad. So experience will not be an issue for us this year.

What has been your main focus in preparing for this season?
Our main focus has been on conditioning. If we want to compete with the giants of SA schools rugby, the boys need to be strong and powerful.

Who are the key players in your squad?
We are fortunate to have so many players left from our 2013 season and we have acknowledged the fact that we are not a team made up by a few rock stars, but rather by a group of boys who perform their roles with 100% commitment.

What lessons have you learned from last season?
Every week is a new week and it is irrelevant what has happened in the previous match. No matter what results a team has achieved, they can rock up on a Saturday and commit to 70 minutes of rugby and turn things around. Therefore every team is a threat and deserves your respect in the preparation for the fixture.

What will be your toughest game this year?
The Cape league is as hard as nails and not to sound clichéd, but there is no easy game. Each match will be physical and intense and pose its own challenges.

What goals have you set for the season?
Prepare for each match with intensity and focus on striving for optimum performance and improving as the season goes on. And to never get stagnant.

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