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Pieter Rossouw

The Vodacom Bulls' new backline coach Pieter Rossouw is as calm and collective in his office at Loftus as he was when he graced the rugby fields of the world.

Rossouw was contracted by the Bulls till the end of 2008 and he will be responsible for the Bulls' backline in the Super 14 as well as the Currie Cup team's backline.

Rossouw gladly set aside a few minutes to answer 10 questions from

When did you start coaching?

I officially started coaching when Majuba Men's Residence (Stellenboch University) asked me in 2006 to take control of their team. I stayed in Majuba from 1992-1995 thus it was a great experience and honour to coach my "koshuis".

In 2006 I was a consultant for the WP's Vodacom Cup team and later in the year I was responsible for the WP's under 19 backline.

Unofficially I started coaching when I was still playing because coaches like Dr Gerrit Pool and Alan Zondagh encouraged the senior guys in the team to take responsibility of certain aspects of the game. It was very enjoyable and I think I did made a contribution in this regard.

What is the best part of coaching?

It is always nice to see the things you have worked on being implemented on the field. It is very enjoyable once the coaching becomes a reality on the field.

What influence will the new laws have on the game?

I think there is going to be more space and that will lead to more try scoring opportunities. I also believe there is going to be more counter attacks. As a consequence the players will definitely need to increase their skill levels.

What kind of player will thrive under the new laws?

I think the ones with speed will definitely have a major advantage. And you obviously need players with good hand as well as good feet.

Players that know how to anticipate space will prosper and the ones that knows when to be where will always be very valuable.

What is the one thing lacking in South African backline play?

I don't want to sound negative because there are a number of very positive aspects of our play. But in order to answer the question I believe we have become so structured that the players can't always play the situation at hand.

I believe structures and game plans are very, very important, but the players need to learn how the play with a bit more freedom within these structures.

Who taught you the most about backline play?

Dr Gerrit Pool and Alan Zondagh. I also learned quite a lot from my teammates especially when I was a youngster.

What advice will you give schoolboys who would like to coach?

I think they should start of by watching rugby on TV and whilst doing that, they should start to analyze the match. They should look at the defence and attack and break that down to smaller units such as the scrums, lineouts, rucking, general play etc.

They must also not be afraid to speak to other coaches as well as senior players and they must ask themselves constantly whilst watching rugby what the team/ teams should do next.

I think it will be of great help if they can attend some of the practice sessions of the Bulls. Most of our sessions are "open" to the public and young guys who would like to coach, should come and observe and take a few notes.

How does it feel to coach against the WP/Stormers?

I must admit it is quite difficult but I see it rather that I coach for the Bulls and not against the WP.

What advice will you give to young rugby players?

I think they should learn how to pass to both sides as early as possible.

I also believe they should participate in a number of activities (other sports etc), because you need a balance in life. I played cricket and did athletics when I was younger and that aided my rugby career a lot.

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  • The president of the Blue Bulls, Boet Fick
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