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As we enter a new and exciting era at False Bay RFC, having bid farewell to Head Coach Johnno van der Walt and assistant, Ryan Williams, new man-in-charge Andrew “Gunner” Hughes shares his plans, in conversation, with us.

“I would like to thank the Committee of False Bay for giving me the opportunity to take the reins from Johnno. It is an incredible challenge for me and to continue the success of our Club.

The past months have been spent planning in terms of coaches and players for 2023 and I am happy to share the Coaching set-up for 2023.

Pieter Benade continues in his role of skills and backline coach. Sean van Rensburg steps into the shoes of Ryan Williams, his primary responsibilities being that of lineouts and defence.

Justin van Winkle will continue to oversee the breakdown within the Club and Nico van der Walt will continue with the S&C primarily assisting us with CrossFit.

In the scrum department, we have acquired the services of former Springbok, Keith Andrews as a front-row consultant. I coached with Keith previously at Villager Rugby Club. I've known him for a number of years in a rugby capacity and I have full confidence in his ability not just only as a coach but as a person who will add value to the club.

The coaches for the 2023 season have been wrapped up. Unfortunately, we lose the services of Ashley Wells who has been with the Under20 section as well as running the scrums for the club. Ash was immense for the Club, both as a player as well as a coach. The Women’s section will once again be headed up by Zoe Naude. She has built incredible gees in this section and will again be assisted by Ryan Henry. We are excited to see them go from strength to strength in the new year.

We have given Kwaks Ngwanya and Chris De Klerk the opportunity to Co-Head Coach the Under-20A side. Both have been dealing with this group of players in 2022. They will be assisted by Richard Lawson who was also the assistant last year. The Under-20B team will be taken by Ashley Peers who was very successful with them last year, participating in the UCT Internal League. A new coach to the club, Kye Bowerman, will join him next year. Kye comes to us from Western Province Prep where he works. He is enthusiastic and keen to contribute.

There are minimal changes in the Senior Section with Alan Footman and Wayne James still working with the 4th and the 5th teams respectively. Bossie Boshoff and Chris Hewetsen will once again be running the Thirds. After a phenomenal 2022, securing league honours, Ryan van Niekerk will once again be heading up the Second XV assisted by Kirsten Marshall and Adam van Willing, who has moved up from the Fourths, as the forward's coach.

The medics remain unchanged with Tess Preen (1st XV), Megan Torrington (2nd XV) and Candice Leewendal (U20) staying on board. Paulie Bevan remains Manager of the 2nd XV with Harold Kessler being assigned to the U20B team.

From a player’s perspective, it has been exciting. The main priority for us at this stage is maintaining the services of our players who won the First and Second Team SLA Leagues this year. We’ve been meeting with them to gain an insight as to their commitment for the 2023 season and where they feel they could improve as a player, and where and how the club can assist them in their ambitions. 

It has been an exciting few months for me and I have enjoyed meeting with players and coaches and hearing their thoughts regarding next season. The club, players and coaching staff are in a good space and despite giving their all in 2022, they are all looking forward to, and are excited for, next season!”

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