Sun, 09 May 2021

Following his departure at the Bulls, Pote Human is heading back to the Free State where he will coach Shimlas in next year's Varsity Cup.

It will be Human's second spell in charge of the University of the Free State's rugby team, having also coached Shimlas between 2000 and 2004.

Human was the Bulls' head coach for the past two seasons and had been involved in the Pretoria union's structures since 2013 where he also coached Tuks and the Blue Bulls' under-21 team.

The 60-year-old is a vastly experienced coach and started his coaching career as Free State forwards coach in 1994.

He also had a previous stint at the Blue Bulls (2005-2008) and coached the Griffons (1996-1997) and Griquas (2012-2013), while there was also a tenure in Japan as forwards coach of the Ricoh Black Rams between 2008-2010.

As a player, Human represented Free State (84 matches) and Eastern Province (116 matches) as a loose forward.

He will start his new role on 2 November, taking over from former Springbok flank Hendro Scholtz, who is no longer available as head coach due to work pressure, although he will continue to work as Shimlas assistant coach.

Human said via a press statement he was happy to return to the City of Roses.

"Bloemfontein has wonderful people and the Shimlas have a great management team. I have known Jaco (Swanepoel, Head of Rugby Coaching and High Performance Sports at the UFS), who coached my son Gerhard at Grey College, since my years as Shimla coach.

"I am particularly proud that the Shimlas won the Super Bowl tournament (similar to the Varsity Cup), the Bloemfontein club championship trophy and the National Club championships in 2004.

"Several of the young men who played for Shimlas at the time, including Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Gurthro Steenkamp, CJ van der Linde, Ruan Pienaar and Wian du Preez, later became Springboks."

Swanepoel described Human as "a seasoned coach who will bring something new to the team".

"As a former Shimla coach he also knows the culture of the team. The UFS Young Guns was the leading team in the Varsity Cup for under-20 teams this year, so there is ample talent for him to work with."

Jerry Segwaba, president of the Free State Rugby Union, added that Human's appointment was an investment in the future.

"The Shimlas have always been an important link in Free State rugby's chain, which starts at schools and extends to university and club rugby to professional rugby.

"Pote and his coaching team will play an important role in developing quality players for the Cheetahs' senior teams. We welcome him back home and wish him all the best."

Ryno Opperman, chairperson of the board of the Free State Cheetahs, also had high regard for Human.

"He is the right man at the right time for the job. His appointment is a vote of confidence in the future of Free State rugby. The Free State Cheetahs are the Currie Cup champions and must keep on developing talent for the future.

"It is encouraging to see players and coaches like Pote, Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn returning to their roots in the Free State."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

Source: News24

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