Steve Botha, master in charge of rugby at Maritzburg College, is to leave College for a post in the United Arab Emirates.
Botha will be based in Abu Dhabi. Ryan Strudwick continues as director of rugby.
The post was offered to Botha to run the Sharks Academy in Abu Dhabi, a partnership between the UAE and the Sharks in an attempt to improve rugby in the UAE which tends to lose players in the 18-25 age group. Botha is to take charge of the Under-15 and Under-18 High Performance squads to nurture the players and grow the squads.
He has had experience of this kind of work, having run the Midlands Academy which grew from 15 to 52 players under him.
In addition Botha will be coaching a club side – the Abu Dhabi Saracens.
He has visited Abu Dhabi and has been impressed by the city, not least by its greenness.
All in all Botha is excited at the prospect, though he regrets missing the College 150th celebrations next year.
Botha is not the only schoolmaster on the move.
Grant Griffiths, the Dale coach, is leaving the college for the Cape. A former Dale captain and a successful coach of the 1st XV, he is to become the coach of Hamiltons, the oldest club in South Africa and one with ambitions. In addition he will be living and coaching at SACS, the oldest school in South Africa where rugby is an important part of school life.
Wynand Moolman, coach of Hoërskool Monument, the rugby powerhouse in Krugersdorp, is leaving the school where he is the director of rugby to become the deputy principal and director of sport at Walvis Bay Private High School in Namibia. The school was established in 1961 and has nine rugby sides. Moolman has been most successful at Monnas, in the Golden Lions schools and in SA Schools. Hans Coetzee, Moolman’s predecessor as the Monnas coach, will return to the school.
After just one season at Paul Roos but not a happy one, Thys Stoltz is leaving the great Stellenbosch school. The new 1st XV is Hein Kriek, the coach of the successful Under-15 team.