Tank is in his third year as the UCT Ikey Tigers 1st XV forward coach, and his second as the SACS 1st XV scrum coach.
He has a long rugby pedigree: Western Province (Currie Cup, Lion Cup and a tour to Aus and NZ), SA Schools, WP Craven Week, Bishops 1st XV (2 unbeaten seasons – 1988 and 1989), WP U20,
WP League, SA Universities, UCT 1st XV (Awarded Full Blues in 1992, 1993 and 1994) and awarded the Smuts Hall “Sportsman of the year” in 1992.
Tank runs the Tank Lanning Scrum School, for both individual and team coaching sessions. He also heads up Tankman Media, a company offering digital and social media strategy, content creation, writing and broadcasting services.
Many of us know Tank for his big character and presence off the field, but very few of us have the privilege of experiencing his genius on the field… in this short interview, he talks us through the nuances of the modern scrum, intersperse with some iconic memories of his time as an Ikey Tiger.
Tell us a few of your favourite memories of being involved with the Ikeys Club…
Who is/was your role model and why?
At school and at UCT you were coached by some legendary coaches who are better known for running 15-man rugby. However, who were the forward coaches, who are maybe lesser-known, who helped you develop your scrummaging and forwards skills?
What is your main scrumming philosophy?
With the changes in the laws around scrumming in the past few years do you see big props being left out for smaller, more mobile props?
If you could change one rule relating to scrummaging what would it be?
It can be very difficult for a young prop to take the step up from school’s rugby both physically and technically, to play varsity rugby both as a young gun or for the senior team. There is nowhere to hide. What advice would you give to a young front rower?
What are the basic scrumming skills that should be taught at primary school level, particularly to protect them from injury?
It has become common for players to be retreaded from loose-forward or lock to prop or from centre to hooker. What are your thoughts and maybe concerns about this?
Can you outline what coaching you do at your scrum school?
How can people who are keen to use your Scrum School make contact with you?