Bok's unique choice
COACHING SPOTLIGHT: In an era when many former internationals are racing to get high-profile coaching positions, finding a Springbok helping out at school and club level is a rarity.
Deon Carstens, capped 10 times by the Springboks, is juggling a full-time career and coaching – true to the amateur ethos or the game.
The 39-year-old former front row forward, who has been helping out at Boland Agricultural High School (Boland Landbou) for the last six years, was recently appointed as the forwards coach of Western Province Super League B club Vineyards.
The appointment at a lower league club would have passed as just another incidental footnote at a time when many high-profile appointments stole the headlines.
However, Carstens’ appointment is distinguishable because it shows there are still high-profile players doing it “for the love of the game”.
He admitted it might be tricky to juggle two coaching jobs and a full-time career, but he loves the “natural passion” you find at school and club level.
“To see that passion from guys who work a full day and then still give it their all at training is a real joy,” Carstens told @rugby365com.
He said he will be helping them with the “technical” aspects of the game – line-outs, mauls and scrums.
“It would be great to see what can be achieved with amateurs,” he added.
“I am not doing it for the fame an fortune.
“In a way, it is easy to fix the errors and shortcomings they have. But the best part is their instinctive skill for attack.”
Carstens – who played 84 times for the Sharks, as well 19 times for Saracens and five times for the Stormers – won the Currie Cup on three occasions (twice with the Sharks, 2008 and 2010, once with Western Province, 2012).
In 2013 he was forced into retirement due to an ongoing back injury.
By Jan de Koning