FNB CPUT coach Alistair Theys has one goal and one goal only for his team for the 2023 FNB Varsity Shield season – to finish top of the log and to win the competition.
2022 Stats – Played: 8, Won 5, Lost 3.
Best FNB Varsity Shield finish – Champions (2019, 2021)
Theys says pre-season training was hampered somewhat by the majority of the squad not being available for pre-season training due to them writing exams.
“We nevertheless continued with the program. And losing some key players such as former captain Feghon-Leigh Snyders, lock Joshua Parish, and other players due to various factors, did not make things any easier.”
He is however positive about the rebuilding phase at CPUT, says Theys, and the majority of this year’s squad is made up of quite young and exciting talent.
“Experienced forwards Roland Van der Heever, Che Claasens, utility backline player, Darren Alexander, and centre Iwaan Bloys are just some of the talent to look out for.
Theys credits the strength and conditioning team for the work they put in to keep the players in tip-top shape.
“Multiple warm-up games provided valuable lessons with less than two weeks to the start of the competition. Player management is another crucial feature for the coaching team, to keep the players refreshed during the campaign.”
Fans of CPUT can expect an attractive and attacking playing style during this year’s Varsity Shield. According to Theys, permitting players to express themselves within the structure, will allow for an exciting brand of rugby.
“The competition will certainly be fiercely contested along with the fact that teams have to travel, player recovery and rotation is also vital. Taking things in our stride and building on the positives of the previous season, success is definitely within our reach.”
FNB CPUT open their 2023 campaign at home against FNB UKZN on 16 February.
For all the Varsity Shield fixtures click HERE.
by Ian Morris