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The Blue Bulls have set their sights firmly on former Springbok and current Stormers defensive coach Jacques Nienaber and have made a big offer to him to join their coaching ranks as from 2013.

Nienaber, widely acknowledged as one of the best defensive coaches in the world, has been the mastermind behind the Stormers’ watertight defensive system but has not renewed his contract with Western Province and the Stormers, which comes to an end in October.

The Bulls recently lost their defensive coach John McFarland to the Springboks, along with forwards coach Johan van Graan, High Performance manager Ian Schwartz and conditioning coach Basil Carzils, and have been on the lookout to replace them with top-class candidates ever since.

With McFarland at the Boks, Nienaber was the obvious target as replacement, especially as has learnt he is keen to be closer to his father, who was injured in a home invasion attack recently in Potchefstroom.

The Bulls’ Board of Directors have approved him and a formal offer has been made to Nienaber, who asked to be given time until after the Super Rugby tournament before making a decision.

It is understood the Bulls are currently awaiting his answer, but it has been delayed because of his possible involvement with the Springboks.

Despite McFarland’s presence, SA Rugby’s Director of coaching Rassie Erasmus is keen to apparently have Nienaber consult to the Springboks and it is understood that a counter offer is in the process of being finalised where Nienaber may spend part of his time with the Stormers and the rest with the Springboks.

However, Bulls CEO Barend van Graan offered a “no-comment” reply when asked about the offer to Nienaber, which would be a significant loss to the Stormers.

Whichever way Nienaber decides, it seems at this point his fulltime days at the Stormers may be numbered.

The Bulls’ Board of Directors will also move to secure replacements for the other lost coaches, with Bok forwards coach Johan van Graan’s spot likely to be filled by former captain Victor Matfield.

Matfield has been the lineout consultant to the Bulls’ Super Rugby team and is likely to take up the position as he wants to eventually move into fulltime coaching.

Carzil’s position is likely to be filled by Stephen Plummer, who has already been working with the team for a few years now, with new conditioning coach Andre Volsteedt, son of Grey College principle Johan and former conditioning coach for the Sharks under-19 and under-21 sides, taking the other conditioning role in the side.

15 Responses to Could Nienaber be going north?

  • 1

    If this news is indeed true… and eventually happens, it would be a massive buy and coup by the Bulls.

    Suddenly, with Nienaber, Matfield and Volsteedt mentioned… the Bulls coaching ranks look promising for the future.

  • 2

    Money talks, hope Mammon doesn’t bite them in the butt one day
    One thing I am watchful of – the once proud union is turning into a money whore it seems
    Hope I am wrong, very wrong

    To be fair, they lost most of their management team, so who will not try and buy the best?
    Just hope they retain their proud heritage, too big a cheque book can be as bad as good

  • 3

    Jislaaik it what is it about the Bulls and the WP? Can’t you okes get your talent elsewhere please?

    Seriaasly. It’s getting a bit much now.

  • 4

    3 @ Stormersboy:
    Ja, have to agree there. The Bully Boys are on a buying spree with youngster and now getting the Province Defence Coach. Think Stormers/Province might be in a bit of trouble if the DO lose Nienaber. You guys though know the drill with the defence by now bud. So probably it will not be a problem. It is your attack where you should be looking at. Province should have bought Carlos Spencer once the Lions never renewed his contract. With him there think your team will be really classy next year. Get Jantjies and Sarel Pretorius too.

  • 5

    The Bulls have right about lost the major portion of their coaching structures to the Springboks… think it’s only right and proper that they try to acquire the best possible replacement staff.

    One needs some cool old heads in the coaching department too, cannot just bring young and fresh couching staff in as well as ex players.

    Nienaber would be 1 coaching replacement sourced from the Stormers / WP, whereas theBulls had to let go of a mighty 5 of the best rugby brains around.

    Buy one here, buy one there, but the fact of the matter is they need to replace 5 high caliber people.

  • 6

    Gena_ZA wrote:

    Money talks, hope Mammon doesn’t bite them in the butt one day

    It started already, i am one of the staunched Bulls Supporters around but i am not blinded by my my gravy train ride so i will speak out, i dont have to please the high bras up there at Loftus for favors and invites.
    The FACT is the Blue Bulls became great because we valued our own, we valued our family culture. Thats why a player like Sadie will get no-where, he is a young spoiled brat a real mercenary, came to us and tried to say the right things, he is a failure and thats why he RAN off.

    Look this post will become rough , i seldom speaks here lately. But i am boiling over tonight. We were accused of being a bruderbond by Voldy faithfuls , and yes if you look at the names who left , its the guys who eventually could not walk the Administrators ways.

    I remember the day when the Bulls appointed Slapchips
    I was furious, even the main peanut here was not happy, we wanted one of our own, we wanted someone who knows our cultures. Yes he did do quite well in his first year but he will walk away one day and recall the changes he had to make, his ideas was never full filled.

    Maybe i must stop this rant/negative/sad suck atitude and settle with this.

    BUYING NIENABER NOW is too LATE, the Australian and New Zealand coaches are clever enough to beat his defense. And with the new 5 second rule Nienaber,s defensive lineups wont be affective. There is simply not enough time for that, the game will be faster.

    We dont need better defenses we need a guys like Carlos Spencer , a open mind and players who are not indoctrinated into patterns. The Bulls have a great bunch of players who CAN play Chiefs/Crusaders type of rugby. We need the Spencer, Eddie Jones, David Campese type of coaches.

  • 7

    Steel steel steel. Bulls het tot die ou wat die WP se kak papier in die toilette neersit n moerse kontrak aangebied

  • 8

    6 @ Supa,
    Neve has truer word been bogged lol.Spoton SuperBul. One of the things that caught my eye was the talented backline players the Bulls have (Gmmmmf mostly from the Staat). Guys like Serfontein, Pollard, Fouche, Cronje, Venter, Swanepoel, Beyers, Visser, Small-Smith, and Hougaard. Geez, those are the kind of players that can rip defences to shreds. Will a guy like Nienaber stunt their natural flair? Run Jan Run!!!

    The Bulls have the personell to play the Chiefs type rugby. Can they make the required paradigm shift?

  • 9

    This will be great news if the Bulls do get the services of Nienaber! I do believe that Nienaber is good enough to adapt his defensive styles/tactics/methods when new rules or rule changes take affect. The Bulls needs to find a perfect balance between Defensive and Attacking rugby.

  • 10

    Problem is Cheetah its illegal to approach players without a unions approval and encourage them to not sign extensions on their contract with the promise of big money when their out of contract.SARU payed them huge compisation for theirs but they don’t want to return the favor to other unions. That is why its poaching. If you pay another union for their loss or buy players coaches from them then the balance there. But they are doing anything but disturb it and will cause a problem where unions will get poorer and eventually a one team league nobody but Bulls supporters will care about. They would probably like that as it seems to make their cocks feel bigger.

  • 11

    @ grootblousmile:
    Ja I hear John Mitchell is available. Go knock on his door rather. 😉

  • 12

    11 @ Stormersboy:
    John Mitchell won’t fit into the Bulls family culture

  • 13

    @ grootblousmile:
    LOL I actually know exactly what you mean. 😉

    I personally don’t care who you okes pick. Just leave Jacques alone. You can have AC and Fleckie. 2 for the price of 1.



  • 14

    13 @ Stormersboy:

    Nienaber WANTS to move back up here, his dad is in Potch and sickly. Looks like Fleckie & Toetie is unable to make WP play attack rugby.

  • 15

    @ grootblousmile:
    Ja if that’s true I sympathize with his reasons.

    Still sucks to leave us with Toetie and Grysie though.


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