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Alums Dover, van Rensburg to coach Furman rugby

Van Rensburg (left) and Dover will pick up the coaching whistle this fall.
Van Rensburg (left) and Dover will pick up the coaching whistle this fall.

Greg Dover ’05 and Shaun van Rensburg ’09 have both joined the Furman Rugby coaching staff.

Dover, a Greenville native and former captain for the Paladins, will serve as backs coach and assistant coach. Van Ransberg, a native of South Africa, has been named assistant backs coach. He will also assist with coaching the forwards. They join head coach John Roberts who enters his 16th season with a Furman career record of 177-70-1 and overall coaching record of 211-88-2.

Dover joined the rugby team his sophomore year, learning the game and going on to win three Division III national championships (2003, 2004, 2005). He was selected to the Palmetto All-Star collegiate team his senior year and the All-South collegiate squad.

After college, Dover played a season with the South Jersey (NJ) men’s team and two seasons with the Greenville (SC) men’s squad. He has played throughout the backline, primarily at 10 and 13, and this will be his first experience coaching. Dover serves as a minister in Greenville and is currently pursuing his doctoral degree. He is married to Suzy, and they have two children: a two-and-a-half year old boy and a two month old girl.

“I’m looking forward to testing out my coaching skills, and this is a great opportunity to stay involved in the sport…and at my alma mater, no less,” said Dover.

Van Rensburg grew up playing rugby in South Africa before his family moved to Florida as he was beginning high school. Van Rensburg picked up American football and earned a scholarship to play for the Furman football team where he started at defensive end his final two seasons.

Van Rensburg never lost his passion for rugby, though, and played for the rugby team when his varsity commitments allowed. Teams he played for captured several conference championships. Furman advanced to the national DIII finals in 2007 and 2008.

After Furman, van Rensburg enrolled at Life University and played on some of the top men’s teams in the nation. He started at wing for the 2013 Life team that won the national championship. Van Rensburg retired from rugby last year and is working on his Ph.D in chiropractic. He is married to Carolyn Janse and the couple lives in Greenville.

“We are lucky to have Greg and Shaun,” said Coach Roberts coach John Roberts. “They are both alums and understand the culture of our program. Greg is a master communicator and is fiercely competitive. Shaun has a wealth of experience and has competed at the very highest levels. I am looking forward to coaching with them.”

The Paladins returns 13 of 15 starters from a team that finished third place in the Southern Rugby Conference (SRC) in both 15s and 7s last season. The Division II SRC includes a dozen teams from North and South Carolina.

 

 

 

 

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