SARugbymag.co.za chats to Hoërskool Noord-Kaap rugby organiser Christo Engelbrecht about the upcoming season.
How many of last year's 1st XV players are still in the squad?
Nine. They were in Grade 11 when they beat their seniors for starting positions last year.
What has been your main focus in preparing for this season?
Testing out all the combinations we have available. Our pack remains the same. Most of them played last season and are fairly experienced. It's the back division that we have to rejig to try find the correct combinations.
Who are the key players in your squad?
Our No 8 Gerhard Holtzhausen and flank Thulani Njenje. Both played a huge role in our success in 2013 and if we are to repeat that, they'll have to be at their best. Gerhard is very flexible, agile and strong and you can expect one or two powerful surges from him in every match, while Thulani is very fast and quick to adapt to whichever situation plays out in front of him.
What lessons have you learned from last season?
We participated in too many high-profile matches and tournaments and as a result we suffered a number of injuries. So I'll say we want to improve our schedule management.
What will be your toughest game this year?
Our boys have been drafted to play against KES [King Edward VII School] at the Wildeklawer Easter festival and we play Helpmekaar away, but the match against Paarl Boys' High will be the hardest and is the one we look forward to most. You don't easily beat those boys on their home turf, but we have a chance.
What goals have you set for the season?
Our overall goal is to cement our place on the list of top 20 schools in South Africa. To make that list is an immense honour because we are such a rich rugby nation with hundreds of excellent rugby playing schools. We also want to play exciting schools rugby, a brand of rugby enjoyable not only to our supporters, but to everyone associated with this school.