Meet Henri! SCC Rugby Academy’s newest Head Coach

SCC Rugby Academy Coach Henri Charl Terblanche

SCC Rugby Academy is delighted to welcome Henri-Charl Terblanche to the Head Coaching team. Henri joins us from the Bulls Super Rugby franchise in South Africa, where he has been their Strength and Conditioning Coach for the past 6 years.

Henri has been in Singapore a few weeks now and you may have already seen him at training or on tour in KL.  He’ll be working alongside our long standing Head Coaches Bryan and Su, working with all our age groups with a special focus on strength and conditioning.

Henri will be assisting the age group Head Coaches of the Academy to refine our training system, along with identifying opportunities where we can increase the effectiveness and density of our coaching sessions. He will work with coaches to provide both a resource and link through which continuous education and up-skilling can be promoted.

He will also be setting up a strength and conditioning (S&C) blueprint where we educate and train our coaches and players on the importance of physical preparation for minimising injuries and increasing performance.

“Being part of SCC Rugby Academy, I’m hoping that we can look back in a few years time and say we contributed to the wider community through the amazing game of rugby and we have given back to rugby by producing outstanding international players through all rugby levels and codes”.

How does working on strength and conditioning help a rugby player?

S&C underpins athletic movement, which is a cornerstone to being a good rugby player. In S&C, we develop the physiological performance factors (strength, speed, power, explosiveness, endurance) to underlay superior execution of all the skills and facets of the game. 

It is also undisputed that sound strength and conditioning greatly reduces risk of injury, hence World Rugby greatly promotes age appropriate S&C to be implemented at all clubs and levels. So ultimately it makes the game safer and more enjoyable for players and more exciting for spectators. 

The toughest and most skilful players in the world are brought down hands on knees, if they can’t stand up to the physical challenges of the game…as the saying goes “fatigue makes cowards of us all”. 

Where do you come from and what’s your professional background?

I was born in Pretoria (South Africa) and raised in Tzaneen, a small town in the Northern Province. I completed most of my studies at the University of Pretoria, where I attained a bachelor’s degree in human movement science as well as honours and masters degrees in human physiology with specialisation in sport physiology.  I am also a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) per the national strength and conditioning association (NSCA) of America. I’ve also coached athletes in various other sports codes (golf, swimming, cycling, distance running, etc.). 

In terms of companies I’ve worked with, the most relevant would be the University of Pretoria’s department of sport physiology (Researcher and Applied Scientist), Investec Rugby Academy (Consultant) and the Blue Bulls Super Rugby Franchise (HOD S&C Super Rugby)

What clubs and players have you worked with in the past? 

I’ve had the honour of working with most of the Springboks and Blue Bulls Super Rugby players to come out of the Bulls franchise over the last 6 years along with various others who have moved on to play for other clubs all around the world. Furthermore, I worked with the University of Pretoria’s TUKS Rugby club in several Varsity Cup campaigns, the Varsity Cup competition has famously delivered over 40 players who went on to represent the Springboks.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with numerous world-class athletes, the likes of Lood de Jager, Wilco Louw, Ivan van Zyl, RG Snyman, Handre Pollard, Adriaan Strauss and Jesse Kriel…(who kindly sent me away with an overly embellished reference letter…haha). It really has been a privilege building meaningful relationships with some of these players and to see how they grow in their careers.

When you are not at SCC Rugby Academy on Saturdays and Thursday evenings, what do you do?  

I have a position as S&C and personal trainer at UFIT One North where we help clients get fitter, leaner and stronger. Our clients include athletes, aspiring athletes, weekend warriors and those who want to generally keep in shape. Obviously, we would love to see our SCC members around our facility…especially our club players only getting to every third ruck…haha. In my off times, I love spending quality time with my wife and baby girl, travelling, reading, mountain biking and being active outdoors. 

What are your first impressions of Singapore?  

This is my first time in Singapore and I am enjoying every moment. I really appreciate how Singapore promotes mutual respect and neighbourliness, and also how efficient public processes are. It is obviously hot, but coming from South Africa the heat doesn’t bother me too much. I’m looking forward to getting to see more of the sights and exploring the international cuisine.