ZIMBABWEAN rugby continues to benefit from quality coaching with former Lions coach Eugene Eloff leading a cast of top South African coaches for a festival at Falcon College in Matabeleland this weekend.
Eloff, who has guided the Junior Springboks to two Under-19 World Rugby Championships, has also coached in the United States.
He is joined on the Zimbabwe trip for the AMG Global Junior Rugby Coaching Festival by 1995 South African Rugby World Cup winner Marius Hurter, two-time capped Bok hooker Delarey du Preez, alongside Norman Jordan and Sean Everett.
The coaching festival started yesterday and will end tomorrow — with the five coaches expected to strengthen collaboration with Zimbabwean rugby.
They arrive in the country at a time their fellow countryman, the former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers, is three months into his new job in charge of Zimbabwe, whom he has been tasked with guiding to their first Rugby World Cup in 27 years.
In fact, the traveling coaches will have an opportunity to share notes with de Villiers, his assistant Brendan Dawson and a Sables training squad, who will be camping at Falcon beginning this weekend.
De Villiers, who has also roped in another South African, Stanley Raubenheimer, as the Sables’ backline coach, will take charge of Zimbabwe for the first time in a competitive match when the Southern Africans open their World Cup qualification quest against Morocco in Harare on June 16.
Synergies with South African rugby, which used to be very strong when Zimbabwe played in the Currie Cup decades ago, are expected to be reinforced again under de Villiers’ reign with the Sables.
The coaching festival at Falcon, meanwhile, has grown since its inception in 2016 to attract about 400 players this year.
“Falcon College is once again proud to play host to the AMG Global Junior Rugby Coaching Festival now in its third year,” said tournament director Orlando Fernandes.
“Our aim is to expose our developing players and coaches, not only, to the former icons of this sport, but also to instil in them a passion for this game which is sure to benefit their rugby. A lot of companies and individuals have come together to help make this festival possible and I am truly humbled and grateful for their contributions towards such a worthwhile venture. Foremost among them are AMG Global who continue to play such a significant role in this festival. I am also grateful to Zimbabwe Lithium, Flo Petroleum, Fawcetts Security, Associated Tyres, Colovane Services, PPC Cement, Ecobank, Ecological Safaris and Tesa Fencing. This Festival has grown over the years and to date we have had close to a thousand youngsters and close to a hundred coaches who have benefited from this festival.”
AMG Global, a professional accounting and business advisory services firm, said in a statement:
“AMG Global is proud to be associated with Falcon College in hosting the AMG Global Junior Rugby Coaching Festival, now in its third year. The aim of this festival is in line with our firm’s passion and desire to nurture talent for Zimbabwe, Africa and the globe. It is also forms part of our social responsibility to our community and the country at large.
“We would like to see our young men and women grow in ability and make their mark nationally and perhaps even internationally. We believe that a junior rugby coaching festival is certainly one way we can develop talent and provide a sound foundation for coaches and players in their quest for future success.” — Staff Writer.