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Meet the coaches

There will be plenty of familiar faces in the 2015 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International as only one coach will be making his debut, while FNB CUT Ixias earned their place in the Cup competition after gaining promotion from the Varsity Shield.

FNB Shimlas have recruited former Springbok, Franco Smith as their head coach and FNB CUT Ixias have once again placed their faith in Andre 'Skillie' Bester, who guided them to the 2014 Varsity Shield title and promotion to the Cup competition.

Here is a comparison of the men in charge for 2015 and their credentials:

Kevin Musikanth - FNB UCT Ikey Tigers

Varsity Cup experience: 2014 (winners) Other experience: WP amateurs, False Bay RFC WP Super League, Wynberg Boys High School director of rugby

Musikanth enjoyed immediate success in his debut season with the FNB Ikey Tigers as he coached the side to their second FNB Varsity Cup title.

He replaced Kevin Foote as head coach after the latter moved to Australia to take up the defensive coach position with the Super Rugby franchise, the Western Force.

Musikanth has enjoyed great success as False Bay RFC coach, earning them promotion to the Western Province Super League A twice in two separate stints with the club as well coaching the impressive Wynberg Boys High first XV.

Robert Du Preez - FNB NWU Pukke

Varsity Cup experience: 2014 (2nd) Other experience: College Rovers (2011-13)

2014 was a milestone year for Du Preez and NWU-Pukke, as he guided the Potchefstroom students to their first-ever home final after topping the table.

In his playing days, Du Preez represented the Springboks on seven occasions between 1992 and 1993 and was the scrumhalf to two of South Africa's legendary flyhalves, Naas Botha (at Northern Transvaal, now Blue Bulls) and Joel Stransky (at Natal).

Before coaching Pukke, Du Preez enjoyed plenty of success with Durban-based amateur side, College Rovers, guiding them to second place in the inaugural Community Cup in 2013.

His son, who shares the same name, represented Maties as a flyhalf in the FNB Varsity Cup.

Chris Rossouw - FNB Maties

Varsity Cup experience: 2013 (2nd), 2014 (semifinal) Other experience: Paarl Gimnasium (2010), Victorians (2011), SA Students (2013)

Returning for his third stint with the FNB Maties, Rossouw will be looking to take the institution back to the glory days which saw them claim a hat trick of titles between 2008 and 2010.

The younger brother of Springbok wing, Pieter 'Slapchips' Rossouw, the flyhalf made his made Springbok debut in 2000 against Argentina 'A', a the age of 23, in Tucuman and played his last tour match a year later against an England National Division XV in Worcester.

A back-to-back Currie Cup winner with Western Province in 2000 and 2001, Chris was also one of the first players to head North where he played for Toulon in France.

David Maidza - FNB NMMU Madibaz

Varsity Cup experience: 2014 (semifinal) Other experience: Border Bulldogs (2001, 2008-2009), Free State Cheetahs (2003-2007), EP Kings (2010-2013)

Maidza's coaching career started in 2001, after his playing career ended, when he became a technical adviser to the Border Bulldogs. He then moved to Bloemfontein to take up an assistant coach position at the Cheetahs from 2003 to 2007 before returning to the Bulldogs as their head coach in 2008 and 2009.

He then joined the Eastern Province Kings as an assistant backline coach in 2010 and became the head coach of their Vodacom Cup side for the 2013 season before taking up the role with the Madibaz in 2014.

In his playing days, he represented Zimbabwe's national Under-21 and Under-23 teams before earning a call-up to the national side in 1993, where he made his debut against an Arabian Gulf team, in a qualifier for the 1995 World Cup. He made a total of 5 appearances in 1993 and 1994.

In 1996, he moved to South Africa and represented the Border Bulldogs and had a brief stint with the Sharks squad for the 1999 Super 12 season.

Franco Smith - FNB Shimlas

Varsity Cup experience: None Other experience: Free State Cheetahs (2005-2006), Benetton Treviso (2007-2013)

He may be the only newcomer to the Varsity Cup fraternity but Smith has a wealth of experience, not only as a coach but also as a player.

His coaching career started in 2005 when he was the technical advisor for the Free State Cheetahs before becoming their backline coach on 2006. Smith then went to Italy where he was the head coach of Benetton Treviso between 2007 and 2013.

He then returned to South Africa to once again join the Cheetahs as an assistant coach in 2014.

Smith has an illustrious player career spanning 10 years where he represented Griquas (1996-1997), the Blue Bulls (1998-2002), Benetton Treviso (2000-2005) and the Cheetahs (2006).

He received his first Springbok cap in 1996 and went on to represent the Boks in 9 Test matches between 1996 and 1999.

Pote Human - FNB UP Tuks

Varsity Cup experience: 2014 (6th) Other experience: Blue Bulls (2005-06), Bulls forwards coach (2005-08), Griquas (2012-13)

Human inherited double-defending champions from Nollis Marais but was unable to guide them to a hat trick of titles, finishing in a lowly sixth place.

Human has a wealth of experience, previously coaching the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup (2005-06) and being their Super Rugby forwards coach (2005-08) before heading to Kimberley to coach Griquas for two years (2012-13).

Werner Janse van Rensburg - FNB UJ

Varsity Cup experience: 2014 (7th) Other experience: UJ Under-19, Golden Lions Academy Week, Golden Lions Schools U19, Golden Lions Craven Week

Janse van Rensburg could not have asked for a worse start to his Varsity Cup career as UJ ended seventh on the log and narrowly escaped relegation to the Varsity Shield by beating UKZN-Ipmi, who are coached by former All Black and Golden Lions coach John Mitchell.

He started his coaching career at the tender age of 21 when he was in charge of the university's Under-19B side and also coached a number of other UJ sides, along with some representative age-group teams.

He served as the Golden Lions Academy Week coach in 2006 and 2007 before taking charge of the Golden Lions U19 Schools side in 2008 and 2009 and, eventually, serving as Golden Lions Craven Week coach from 2010 through to 2013.

Andre 'Skillie' Bester - FNB CUT Ixias

Varsity Cup experience: None Other experience: UFS-Kovsies (12 years), Free State Craven Week (2004-05), Wannaroo (2006-08), Varsity Shield (2014 winners)

In his first year of coaching FNB CUT Ixias, Bester not only guided them to their third Varsity Shield title but also got them promoted to the 2015 Varsity Cup competition.

Skillie, as he better known, began as the manager of the team in 2011 and watched the team claim two Shield titles in 2011 and 2013 as well as finishing runners up in 2012 before taking over as coach.

Bester will be joined by former Free State Cheetahs lock, Izak van der Westerhuisen who will be the forwards' coach.



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