Outgoing Griquas coach Brent Janse van Rensburg questions SA Rugby’s contracting model

Marnus Schoeman of the Xerox Lions celebrates his try during the Currie Cup semi final match between Xerox Golden Lions XV and Tafel Lager Griquas at Emirates Airline Park on August 31, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Marnus Schoeman of the Xerox Lions celebrates his try during the Currie Cup semi final match between Xerox Golden Lions XV and Tafel Lager Griquas at Emirates Airline Park on August 31, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Johan Rynners/Gallo Images

Outgoing Griquas coach Brent Janse van Rensburg has questioned the wisdom of SA Rugby’s contracting model which will see the drastic reduction of the number of professional players in the country.

Janse van Rensburg‚ who was instrumental in steering his team to the Currie Cup semi-finals before they lost 34-19 to the Golden Lions at Ellis Park‚ believes smaller unions can play a more significant role in the domestic game.

“Griquas‚ this year‚ yet again reignited a bit of hope and proved yet again that there is a place for a smaller union in this country. With a shoestring budget we were very competitive this year. How much more can we do if we had the resources of the bigger unions?

“A lot of these players didn’t get game time at the bigger unions‚ they were discarded. We brought them in‚ put them together and now everyone is talking about them again. Look at Anthony Volmink‚ he’s got Super Rugby caps but he was unemployed for four months. George Whitehead had a blinder of the year. He has mostly not put a foot wrong. I can keep going. This union has served SA Rugby well. I hope everyone realises the role Griquas can play.”


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He believes talented young players will get even less playing opportunity under the new contracting model.

“We have tons of talent in this country and I don’t think six franchises is enough. We have a junior system that has now been reduced. With the quality we have there they need to get game time. With the contracting model going down to 45 players now per union‚ guys still have to play somewhere.”

Janse van Rensburg helped forge Griquas into a competitive unit this year.

It saw them win the SuperSport Challenge and reach the Currie Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1998.

“I think we improved a lot and have evolved this year. I don’t think we could have improved anymore. It was a good environment and players were very studious. There was togetherness and we were really fit. The players played for the right reasons and tactically we were pretty precise most weeks.

“I believe those players have put their hands up and showed that they can play higher up.”

News of Janse van Rensburg’s departure broke last week and he was asked whether it impacted on his team’s performance in the semis. “It had no influence whatsoever. You don’t win 14 out of 17 games this year if the culture and the environment isn’t good.”

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