‘One of our toughest seasons’

SARugbymag.co.za chats to Paarl Gymnasium 1st XV coach Christoff Lötter about the upcoming season.

How many of last year's 1st XV are still in your squad?
Five – loosehead prop Gavin van den Berg, lock Jaco Willemse, centre Wayno Visagie, wing/No 8 Ruan Stander and fullback Grant Hermanus.

What has been your main focus in preparing for this season?
Taking into account the festive season break, we're mainly focusing on fitness and conditioning.

Who are the key players in your squad?
No, I don't believe in hyping up certain individuals. They're all of equal importance working together towards a common goal.

What lessons have you learned from last season?
That we could have managed our players better. With the physicality of the game today, players can easily sustain injuries. We need to manage their workloads better if we are to get the best out of them and protect their bodies at the same time.

What will be your toughest game this year?
There's not a specific game, but this will be one of our toughest seasons in recent years, that's for sure.

What goals have you set for the season?
We want the boys in top condition and at their fittest throughout the year. There will be a big focus on enjoyment on and off the field, bearing in mind that these are young kids, you can't be too serious with them.

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