Benade reveals ultimate target as Sables coach

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Zimbabwe rugby team head coach Pieter Benade

Zimbabwe rugby team coach Pieter Benade says he hopes to use his new role to uplift the lives of rugby players in the Southern African country, where rugby remains an amateur sport despite producing many world class players, who have enjoyed success on the global stage.

Benade was appointed coach of the Sables, taking over from former captain Brendan Dawson.

The former Western Province and Pumas pivot who represented Maties, Hamilton and False Bay as a player, has been on the Zimbabwe coaching panel over the last two years as backline and skills coach.

Benade said in addition to meeting his targets on the field of play he will seek to use the influence of his position to empower players plying their trade on Zimbabwe’s domestic rugby circuit.

“Besides my contractual KPIs of developing Zimbabwe Rugby and succeeding on the pitch, I want to look after the social upliftment of locally (Zimbabwe) based players, while striving for rugby excellence nationally, delivering to Zimbabwe, a team of which they can be proud,” said Benade in an interview with the Cape Town-based Southern Mail newspaper.

Former Zimbabwe head coach Brendan Dawson (right) and then backline coach Pieter Benade, who is now his predecessor

The former Prince Edward School maestro said he will also draw lessons from his experiences in South Africa, where he played for several clubs in addition to a stint in France.

“I learnt a tremendous amount at False Bay, dealing and playing with Reserve League players whose primary aim is participation only, while at first teams of clubs and schools, you mix in a high-performance element into the environment. I have learnt so many lessons over 13 years at the Bay that can be transferred to what my new goals and challenges are,” he said.

Benade is fondly remembered in Cape Town, where he was a member of the False Bay coaching panel after his retirement in 2012, initially as Third XV coach, culminating in assistant coaching their First XV since 2019, which included a Super League A Winners Medal.

Throughout his coaching years at the Bay, Benade held dual roles at schoolboy rugby level, coaching under-15, 16 and First Team at Rondebosch Boys’ High School and the Wynberg Boys’ High School First XV as an assistant in 2022.

Filling this busy bouquet, the affable rugby devotee coached the Bay’s Sevens teams with commendable success throughout his Bay career.

Born in Zimbabwe and schooled at Prince Edward in Harare, the former Craven week captain then transferred to Stellenbosch University where he completed a BA degree in sports science.

He represented Maties from 2002 until 2005, earning his WP colours during this time.

After that he went off to Nelspruit where he represented the Pumas for the following two seasons, followed by two seasons at French Division two club, Limoges.

 

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