Cavaliers' loss is Pumas' gain
NEWS: The Pumas have scooped up former Boland Cavaliers coach Brent Janse van Rensburg.
Mpumalanga Rugby (PTY) LTD, the professional arm of the Pumas. confirmed that Janse van Rensburg will b the team's head coach from 2017 onwards.
Janse van Rensburg, at the centre of a political boardroom fall-out that also saw Director of Rugby Alan Zondagh walk out in frustration, resigned as coach of the cavaliers after their most successful season in more than a decade.
It was revealed last week that transformation was at the heart of the brain drain at the Boland Rugby Union.
Zondagh cited "excessive interference by the board and the executive of the Boland Rugby Union" as his reason for walking out before the end of the season.
Janse van Rensburg waited till after the team's final league match a fortnight ago, but gave no reason for his departure.
Inside sources suggested his departure is linked to the fall-out between Zondagh and the board - which later confirmed that transformation was a "serious point of contention".
Now the Cavaliers' loss has become the Pumas' gain.
In a statement, the Pumas said that after "extensive consultation" Janse van Rensburg, who is one of the nominees for the South African Rugby Union Coach of the Year for 2016, signed a three-year contract with the union.
MJ Mentz and Hein Kriek will stay on as assistant coaches to offer their valuable experience and support to Janse van Rensburg.
"We are very excited at the appointment of Janse van Rensburg, who has already proven himself as an excellent head coach at the Boland Cavaliers and in previous positions," Mpumalanga Rugby CEO Pieter Burger said.
"He is an experienced and high-quality coach and we are fully confident that, with the assistance of the existing coaching staff, he will add immense value to the provincial side."
Burger added that it is important to invest in the game at provincial level.
Janse van Rensburg started his coaching career at the South African Institute of Rugby.
He was subsequently professional coach at Queen's College, before guiding the Border Craven Week team to eight wins out of nine matches in charge and becoming involved with the Border Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup teams.
He has been a successful head coach for Varsity Cup side NMMU Madibaz and the assistant coach for the South African Universities Team.
In 2014 he was appointed as Director of Rugby at the prestigious Grey High School and then moved to Johannesburg for a brief stint as the Golden Lions high-performance coach.
In June 2015, he was appointed as head coach for the Eastern Province Kings, before the financial cash crunch in Port Elizabeth forced him to move on.
Janse van Rensburg gained high acclaim for guiding the Boland Cavaliers to the Currie Cup Premier Division as head coach in 2016.
Janse van Rensburg will relocate to Nelspruit with his wife Liesel at the end of this year.
"I'm very excited and extremely thankful for the opportunity to join what is a great union," Janse van Rensburg said.
"The Pumas have had good success in the past, and are very competitive, whilst the structures and facilities at the union are first-class.
"I look forward to the head coach challenge and working to move the side forward," Janse van Rensburg added.