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Denzil Frans


The Vodacom Blue Bulls' forward coach, Denzil Frans, who played under Heyneke Meyer, Frans Ludeke and Nico Serfontein in his memorable first class career, answers ten questions from bluebulls.co.za.
Denzil Frans started coaching at the Bulls in 2005 after he played for the SWD Eagles, Blue Bulls, Boland and the Emerging Boks.
Meyer and Ludeke coached him at the SWD Eagles and in 2002 he was the captain of the Vodacom Cup team that was coached by Nico Serfontein.

What are your responsibilities at the Bulls?
I am responsible for the forwards of the Vodacom Cup team, the under 21s and the under 19s. I am also the defence coach of these three teams as well as their technical advisor

What do you make of the new laws?
There are a lot more kicking and as a result you must chase more. That means the wings as well as the other backs need to be fitter.
The ball is also more in play and as a result every single member of the team must be fitter. The lineouts are a mess because you don't get your won ball that easily because the opposition is allowed to have as many players in the lineout as they wish.
What is still very important is your "ball steals" – we scored six tries from turnovers against the Free State.

Who, in your view, are two of the most exciting prospects at Loftus?
Burton Francis (flyhalf) and Rocco Jansen (wing).

Who of the youngsters at the Bulls have a good chance to make the SA u20 team?
Frik Kirsten, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Stefan Watermeyer, Henri Bantjes, Francois Brummer, Divan Kotze, Wynand Willis, Tom Seabela, Corné Fourie, Berend Botha, Cornell Hess, Stephan Dippenaar and Francois Hougaard.

Did you think about coaching when you were still playing?
Yes, Heyneke Meyer told me when I was still playing for the Bulls that I must immediately phone him when I stop playing.

Who teaches you about coaching?
The Bulls' defence coach, John McFarland, is my mentor. We speak on a daily basis and I learn a lot from him.

What do you think of the standard of club rugby?
I think the standard is quite high this year but it can be much higher because the clubs tend to neglect their defence. Most of the time they focus only on their attacking play, but under the new laws your defence is crucial.

How often does the Vodacom Cup team train? What does a standard week look like?
We train twice a day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday is our day off and Friday is the captain's practice.
Monday: During the morning session the players will gym and work on their scrums, lineouts, backline play and skills. In the afternoons we have a general loose play session. We do our video review of our last game on the Monday.
Tuesday: The morning session is the same as the one on Mondays and during the afternoon we will have a 60 minute defence session. On the Tuesday we will do our video preview of our next game. On Tuesdays there are individual sessions for the hookers and scrumhalves.
Wednesdays: We have two 30 minutes sessions in the morning; gym and attack. During the afternoon session we work on our kicking patterns.

Thursday: Off

Friday: Captain's practice

What is the biggest difference between Super 14 rugby and Vodacom Cup rugby?

The tempo. Super 14 is much faster than Vodacom and you defense get tested all the time because you play against backs that are very big, very fast and very strong.

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

I think they should start to coach at a primary school. You learn the kids but you also learn a lot from them. Any schoolboy is welcome to come and watch as the Bulls are training. By doing this you will learn a lot and you are welcome to take notes.





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