Butch to assist Mitchell
Butch James (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - John Mitchell, head coach of Varsity Shield side, UKZN Impi, has attained the services of former Springbok flyhalf Butch James
According to the Varsity Cup website
, the 35-year-old James will be the backline and kicking coach in 2014.
“It’s amazing when you ask for help who comes forward. Butch James
is going to be the backline and kicking coach. Butch wants to put something back into local rugby, which has given him a lot,” Mitchell said.
Ryno Combrinck, a former Northern Transvaal loose forward and Natal University coach, and currently the Director of Rugby at Michaelhouse will be taking the forwards, with ex-Natal University, Sharks and London Irish lock Ryan Strudwick, looking after lineouts and restarts.
Mitchell said restarts had been a problem for the Impi in the past. Strudwick will combine this UKZN coaching role with his position at Maritzburg College. Further, Dylan Campbell, who has been involved with the Impi Varsity Shield squad since 2011, will serve as skills coach and analyst.
The fourth major appointment is of 2013 head coach Shawn van Rensburg, who will oversee the forwards coaching for all of UKZN Rugby Club’s teams and, offering a valuable resource to the KZN league coaches in order to bolster what has been an Achilles heel for the student sides against older and significantly bigger club forward packs.
“We are also very close to finalising out coaching team for the KZN leagues. During the league season I will play a resource role as well; it’s about maximising and pooling our resources in order to try and create an optimal environment, and also create a process which gives each team in our programme the best possible opportunity to succeed,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell, a former All Black and Golden Lions coach, landed the position
of UKZN Director of Rugby in September last year.
James played 42 Tests for the Springboks and had domestic stints at the Sharks and Golden Lions. He retired at the end of the 2013 season.