Rhinos gear up for new season
THE Empangeni Rugby Football Club will be hosting a player/coach information session at their premises on Tuesday at 6pm.
All players and coaches interested in being included in the Rhinos rugby family this year are welcome to attend.
Kobus Wernich will coach the 2019 squad during this, the Club’s centenary anniversary
Management is also calling on all newly retired Premier League players to share their skills and experience with the squad.
Following the meeting on Tuesday, 15 players will be invited to take part in a light warm-up session in the form of an informal touch rugby match.
Formal club practices will begin on Thursday, 17
January at 6pm.
Meet the coach
Kobus Wernich played rugby at provincial level with numerous Springbok players in the days before rugby became a full-time professional career.
He played with the likes of Naas Botha, Eric Herbert and Hugh Reece-Edwards in his career between 1979 and 1988, before being forced to retire after a serious neck injury.
The rugby loving analyst and coach was born in the Free State and arrived in Zululand in 2009.
‘It is actually funny how things work out,’ said Wernich.
‘I came down to Empangeni on holiday and ended up getting a job as a coordinator/coach at the Zululand Rugby Academy in 2009.’
He was part of the academy set-up from 2009 to 2011.
He played flyhalf for the Griffons team at Craven Week in 1978, before representing the University of Free State and Free State U20 teams in 1979-1981. He was then selected for the Free State B team and South African University U20 team in 1981.
In 1982, he changed positions to inside centre after playing club rugby (Pretoria Police) and provincial rugby(Northern Transvaal) with Naas Botha in 1982. ‘Playing with Naas was one highlight of many in my career.
‘I regarded him as very professional and one of the best decision makers to ever play the game.’
It was a particularly good season for Wernich, who played for the South African Police College side in Pretoria, South African Police team, Northern Transvaal U25 and senior sides.
In 1983 Wernich moved back to the Free State and played for Free State until 1984.
In 1985 he went to Welkom and played full-time for the Griffons and Northern Free State teams with Eric Herbert until 1988, when he broke his neck and was temporarily paralysed after a bad tackle.
Kobus Wernich will coach the 2019 Rhino squad