Glenwood 1st XV coach Sean Erasmus believes his side can reproduce the form that saw them reach No 2 on the national schools rankings last year.
The KwaZulu-Natal outfit kick off their 2010 campaign with matches against St Andrews and Dale College in Grahamstown in late March, before playing Monument, Marais Viljoen and Selborne at the Kearsney College Easter Rugby Festival. Glenwood will also be involved in the Wildeklawer Superschools tournament in late April.
‘We aim higher and higher every season,’ Erasmus told keo.co.za. ‘Obviously every year you say goodbye to good players, and last year we had a very settled team which we’d been building towards in previous years. This year is definitely a building phase, but I believe we have the ability to perform against the best.
‘There are six or seven boys returning from last year, and we’ll be looking to them to play big roles. Fred Zeilinga will be instrumental at flyhalf, and [wing] Eddie Smith and [lock] Aalwyn Janse van Vuuren will be important players. But from what we’ve seen from the new boys, they should have plenty of support.’
Erasmus will finalise his squad and name his captain next week, with the last of Glenwood’s three trial matches against local U20 club sides being played on Friday.
‘We’ve put the guys into a lot of contact situations, and trialled them against the local club sides, because that’s where we believe the current school level is at,’ said Erasmus.
‘I’m also taking no chances with the physical conditioning of the players after what happened in 2009. We had some serious injuries last season – broken legs and hurt shoulders – so we’ve taken on a full time biokineticist this time round.’
By Rory Keohane