2021 FNB Varsity Cup: These are your captains speaking! (Part 2)

FNB Varsity Cup

The FNB Varsity Cup captains look ahead to this year’s tournament, which will be played in a bio-bubble in Tshwane from 4 April to 24 May.

LIAM GREENHALGH (FNB UCT)

What does it mean to you to captain FNB UCT this year?
It’s a huge honour and privilege to captain the UCT Ikey Tigers. It means a lot to me to know that the coaches and players believe in me. I must give credit to the highly experienced and diverse leadership group in this year’s squad. They will give me all the support and backing I need to lead from the front. After the abrupt end to last year’s Varsity Cup campaign because of Covid, I didn’t think I would play for UCT again let alone captain the team again, so this year’s tournament will be a very special experience. 

What kind of a captain are you?
I consider myself to be a typical lead-by-example captain. My teammates will agree with me when I say I’m not a big fan of long speeches and that public speaking isn’t a strong point of mine! But fortunately, with the supportive leadership group I have, there’s a whole array of leadership styles that help to complement mine. Leading a team takes a collective, not one man, and we have a really strong collective.

What are your expectations for this year’s tournament?
I think the 2021 tournament in the bio-bubble at Tuks will be the most exciting yet. The neutral venues and intense playing format are going to level the playing field completely. The teams will face challenges in terms of Covid protocols, mental health and player management, so I think every single game is going to be an absolute nail-biter. From an Ikey Tigers perspective, we are in the best mental and physical condition I’ve ever seen in my six years at the club, so I’m really excited for us to go out there and compete to the best of our ability.

LUVUYO NDEVU (FNB CUT)

What does it mean to you to captain FNB CUT this year?
It means a lot to me to have the whole squad and management back me for the season. I feel so humbled and blessed.

What kind of a captain are you?
I'm a captain who leads by example and is vocal too. I'm the guy who keeps the vibe going in the team.

What are your expectations for this year’s tournament?
I expect it to be tough but fun. The bio-bubble is something new for everyone. I expect all the best for our team and that we going to have a good season. I expect the weather to play a big role. We as a team like to say “expect the unexpected”.

PIETER-STEYL SWANEPOEL (UWC)

What does it mean to you to captain FNB UWC this year?
Due to the current circumstances in the world and the cancellation of the Varsity Cup last year it has been a difficult but exciting challenge to take over as UWC captain. It’s an honour and a privilege that I intend to embrace. 

What kind of a captain are you?
I’m a vocal captain who focuses on mindful communication with my teammates and coaches. The relationship I have with my teammates is of great importance to me. As captain, I believe it’s my responsibility to lead by example, on and off the field, and to listen to my teammates, as we can only succeed when our mindsets are right.

What are your expectations for this year’s tournament?
I want us to show everyone the exciting brand and potential of UWC rugby. Going in as underdogs, it’s a priority for us to showcase what we have trained so hard for and to show what the game means to us. Due to the challenges of Covid-19, we also expect our team to follow safety guidelines and protocols to ensure everyone’s health is protected and the Varsity Cup can go ahead as planned.

SANGO XAMLASHE (FNB TUKS)

What does it mean to you to captain FNB UP-Tuks this year?
It’s a huge honour and privilege for me to take charge of a giant of Varsity Cup rugby. I have a big support base and a lot of duties are shared among the leadership group, so it doesn’t feel like I’m carrying the full weight of the load.

What kind of a captain are you?
I’m a very vocal guy and always talking on the field in terms of what I see going on. I think it brings comfort to those around me because they know what I’m thinking – with some players who are super quiet, you never know what’s going on inside their heads! I help players to get into position on the field and know where the threats [from the opposition] are. That communication could be the difference between a tackle and a missed tackle.

What are your expectations for this year’s tournament?
We have prepared for every situation, on and off the field. I don’t think anything will come as a surprise as our life coach JL de Jager has prepared us so well mentally. The bio-bubble will be something new for everyone, but we will definitely adapt to it.

REWAN KRUGER (FNB SHIMLAS)

What does it mean to you to captain FNB Shimlas this year?
I’m really proud to be Shimlas captain. I’m truly grateful for this opportunity and would like to thank all my teammates for it. Hopefully, I can lead in a way that takes this team forward as we strive for success.

What kind of a captain are you?
I wouldn’t say I’m a vocal captain but when something catches my attention I will definitely speak up. But I would like to think I’m more of a captain who leads by example on the field.

What are your expectations for this year’s tournament?
It’s the first time that students will get to play rugby again [since March 2020] so every team is so hungry to play in this year’s Varsity Cup. I think the tournament is wide open and every team will be competitive. I expect Shimlas to have a successful season. As a team, we strive to make a difference and the only way we can do that is if we play good rugby.