With a new coach, new captain, and not having played a competitive match in more than a year, there will be many eyes on the Shimlas when they take to the field on 5 April.
The popular Varsity Cup is back, having been cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The 2021 edition will be played in a secure bio-bubble at the University of Pretoria from 4 April to 24 May. The Shimlas will start with a clash against the University of the Western Cape. Matches will be played at the Tuks Stadium and Loftus Versfeld on Mondays, Thursdays, Sundays, and public holidays.
There are high hopes after the return of Pote Human as head coach. He was previously in charge of the Shimlas from 2000 to 2004. Human knows what it takes to win the Varsity Cup, having done so with Tuks in 2017 before going on to coach the Bulls.
Rewan Kruger, who is participating in his fourth campaign, will lead the team. The scrum half, who is studying BCom Accounting, said he felt humbled to lead the team.
“Hopefully I can lead in a way that takes this team forward. As a team, we strive to make a difference and the only way we can do that is if we play good rugby.”Kruger represented the Springbok U20 team at two Junior World Cups and captained the Free State U21 team in the past.
Human believes there is no shortage of talent in the squad. “I’m really excited to see what they can do. With most of the games being televised, they can make a name for themselves.”“The guys have worked really hard during pre-season and are hungry to play rugby again. The set piece was a concern last year, but we have worked extremely hard on that.”