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03 October 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Gallo Images
Lappies Labuschagne
Lappies Labuschagné got his first rugby contract with the Cheetahs after impressing for the Shimlas. He is now playing for Japan – the first Shimla to do so.

Former Shimla Lappies Labuschagné made his ex-coach Jaco Swanepoel proud when he was recently included in the Japan Rugby World Cup (RWC) squad.

Labuschagné, made his debut for Japan on 28 September as captain shortly before the tournament, which is currently under way there, then led Japan to a historic win over Ireland, the world’s fourth-ranked team.


Labuschagné has been playing his rugby in Japan since 2016. Previously, he played for the Shimlas between 2009 and 2012 and captained the team in 2012. At that time, Swanepoel was the head coach of the Shimlas. 

“I’m extremely glad that he got his chance to play in the World Cup, just to prove that he can compete at that level. It was wonderful to see the leadership we knew he had on Saturday,” Swanepoel said.

He believes Labuschagné was unlucky not to have played for the Springboks. In 2013, he was called up to the South African squad, but failed to force his way into the congested Springbok back row. 

“Subjectivity in team selection was the reason that he wasn’t considered. He deserved to be selected and he worked extremely hard. I don’t know of a player who worked harder than him. Nobody wanted to work out with him in the gymnasium, because he always put in extra effort. That made him special.”

Swanepoel describes Labuschagné as a “very special person”.

“Lappies the human being is perhaps a little bit better than Lappies the rugby player.”  

“Hopefully we can get a Japan rugby jersey from him to display in the Shimla room soon,” Swanepoel added.

Labuschagné isn’t the only former Kovsie at the RWC. In the Springbok management team, Rassie Erasmus (head coach), Jacques Nienaber (defence coach), and Vivian Verwant (physiotherapist) are also former Kovsies.


News Archive

Messages and mail – what people say about Kovsies
2014-10-02

 
Letters from Kovsie students, parents, the community and even visitors to our university from across the globe regularly pour into our mailboxes and onto our social media pages.

To give you a glimpse of what they say about our institution, here are a few examples:

•    If you continue with this innovative thinking then the UFS will soon become the Ivy League institution of South Africa. – Chris Abels, United Kingdom

•    My daughter loves Kovsies. She has really come out of her shell as a result of the wonderful environment created by Kovsie leaders. She is flourishing and has for the second year in a row achieved the distinction of being a top academic student. Once again, thank you for your kind assistance which clearly indicates to me that Kovsies treat their students like family and not merely a number. – Grant Combrink, Port Elizabeth

•    The state of the University of Free State inspired me to go back to school and do my law degree. The cleanliness and the mood of the institution was inspirational and not only to me but also to a few of my colleagues. – Joseph Peter Kgomo, a journalist with the public broadcaster

•    I arrived in Bloemfontein to begin a one year appointment as a Fulbright Scholar. I have remarked to friends and colleagues in America that we can learn a great deal about hospitality towards our foreign visitors by embodying the altruism demonstrated throughout your campus. Thank you for the opportunity to become a Kovsie. – Professor Brenda C Eppley, Professor at Area Community College in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA

•    I would like to congratulate you on the job well done regarding transformation and integration thereof. Indeed, the UFS that I am in is not the UOVS that I was in. – Tefo Masoetsa

•    I attended the Oprah Winfrey graduation ceremony in 2009 and when Dr Desmond Tutu received his honorary Doctorate. On both occasions one felt something big and miraculous was happening and many in the audience were moved. You are doing something down there in the Free State that really deserves attention! – Joy Summers, Producer: Carte Blanche

•    There will be much more hurt before our country is healed, but it will be the Kovsie doctors, psychiatrists and teachers applying the plasters and it will be the Kovsie architects, quantity surveyors, jurists and farmers building and regulating a new country. – Marzanne Lombard, proud former member of Soetdoring and Welwitschia Residences

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