DHL Stormers forwards coach Matt Proudfoot has opted not to renew his contract with Western Province Rugby, but he might not be lost to the union on a permanent basis.
Proudfoot will be linking up with outgoing DHL Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee at Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers in Japan, but Director of Rugby Gert Smal remains hopeful of retaining his services on a consultancy basis, which would see him contribute to the ‘Tight Five Factory'; an innovative project which is aimed at identifying and developing tight 5 players from youth level and up within WP Rugby.
Proudfoot, 42, has served as forwards coach of both the DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province for the past 7 seasons, which has seen the Cape team’s pack become 1 of the most feared units at Super Rugby and Currie Cup level.
In that time, the likes of unheralded juniors Steven Kitshoff, Scarra Ntubeni, Frans Malherbe, Vincent Koch, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi and Nizaam Carr have progressed into the Springbok ranks (either as Test players or squad members), with the DHL Stormers’ scrummaging power a huge boon in their recently-completed 2015 Super Rugby campaign.
Positive news for a change from the Vodacom Blue Bulls, as Nollis Marais, the new Head Coach for the Currie Cup season gets into gear.
He promises change and that the Blue Bulls will play in a system which suits their player strenghts and it looks like one of the 1st key things he has achieved is to convince all the key youngsters left at the Union since the recent exodus (before his appointment), have decided to stay and sign on to help ressurrect the proud Union.
The 2nd immediate positive is that former Bulls and Springbok hooker, Gary Botha has been signed as Technical Forwards Consultant with the Blue Bulls.
The 3rd aspect of positive and upbuilding news is that the vibe in the newly released Currie Cup squad is positive and excited… and eager.
The 4th aspect, something I have wanted to hear for a very, very long time… and that is that Nollis Marais will give special attention to skills training. It has been something severely lacking in both the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup and the Bulls in Super Rugby and it’s been permitted to rot in the background for far too long during Frans Ludeke’s tenure, and lately shaky reign. It is music to my ears and should be music to the ears of most South Africans, as skills is one critical aspect where we feel South Africa is lacking behind Australia and New Zealand… well specially New Zealand!
Then there is the pleasant news that it appears that Francois Hougaard, who would have left for Japan prior to the advent of the Currie Cup, will now stay at the Blue Bulls, in an attempt to shine in the Currie Cup, and thus maybe elevate his chances of re-entering the Springbok Squad.
Following Frans Ludeke’s decision to step down as Head Coach of the Vodacom Bulls and Vodacom Blue Bulls respectively, the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd confirmed that they have reached a full and final settlement with Ludeke.
Ludeke most recently led the team to a home semi-final of the Super Rugby competition, as well as South African conference winners during 2013, prior to this he also won the Vodacom Super Rugby title twice, the first of those titles in 2009, coupled with being crowned as the Currie Cup Champions.
Barend van Graan, BBC CEO said “Frans and I have known each other a long time and we shared special memories both on and off the field of play, he is a remarkable man and in his 8 year tenure as Head Coach of the Vodacom Bulls and Vodacom Blue Bulls we have achieved many successes, which I believe our supporters, shareholders and players will cherish forever. Our staff and players have gained a huge amount from him.”
Ludeke said that although he was leaving the Blue Bulls Company sooner than anticipated, he was satisfied that his goals had been achieved and that he is able to end his tenure after sharing the joy the game brings with players, management, supporters and shareholders.
It may come in the form of another franchise gig, but there are a number of critics who feel that Allister Coetzee’s return to South Africa will be as Springbok coach.
Coetzee jets off to Japan on 5 July where he will take charge of the Kobe Kobelco Steelers, but he has not ruled out a move back to South Africa at a later stage, saying that he was “far from done” with his coaching career.
Current Bok coach Heyneke Meyer is out of contract at the end of the year after completing what would have been four full international season, and whether or not he gets another 4 years will be largely determined by how the men in green and gold go at this year’s World Cup.
Coetzee said on Tuesday that the opportunity to coach his country was something that he had always thought about.
“I would love to do it,” Coetzee said.
Sir John Kirwan:
Blues rugby legend Sir John Kirwan has resigned his role as head coach of the organisation.
Kirwan, who has been head coach for 3 years, has announced that he will not seek reappointment for a further term as coach and will step aside, effective immediately.
While Kirwan had put up a proposal to the Blues board for his continued involvement, he said that he had reconsidered over the past few days after talking with his family, colleagues and friends.
“I had a chance to take a breath and reflect about the situation, my future and above all my love of this Blues club and the players,” Kirwan said.
“People who know me well know that I do not walk away from a challenge and that was what was driving me because I know what has been set-up in terms of organisational structure in the last 2 years.
“However I always said that if I didn’t bring about the results that the players, the club and the fans wanted, then I would step aside.”
Former Steval Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse, 1 of the country’s most undervalued coaches, is rumoured to have thrown his name into the hat for vacant coaching positions at the Cell C Sharks, Vodacom Bulls and Southern Kings.
4 Of South Africa’s franchises will be looking to fill their vacant head coach positions before the start of the revamped and extended Super Rugby tournament in 2016.
Stonehouse took up a coaching job with Japanese club Toshiba Brave Lupus earlier this year after he declined 2 previous offers from abroad with the hope of landing a job with a South African franchise.
The Bulls head coach position opened up over the weekend when Frans Ludeke resigned after 8 years in charge of South Africa’s most successful Super Rugby franchise.
The Sharks (Pty) Ltd announced that assistant coach, Brad Macleod-Henderson has resigned from the Sharks.
Brad had been involved with the Sharks since 2012 initially with the Under 21’s before joining the senior side in July 2013.
He was assistant coach in their last 2 Super Rugby campaigns, looking after the forwards and breakdown and headed-up the Currie Cup campaigns.
The Sharks offered Brad a role within their new structures, going forward but he felt that it was time to move on.
Reds head coach Richard Graham admits his future is out of his hands after watching his team end their season with a big loss in Sydney.
The Queensland outfit were hammered 31 / 5 by the Waratahs, letting in 4 2nd-half tries as they went down for a 4th time in a row against their rivals.
It caps a disastrous season for the Reds, who have won just 4 games all season and finished 12th in the table, with speculation over Graham’s future mounting.
The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd and the Blue Bulls Company Board of Directors on Saturday 13 June 2015 confirmed the following:
- Frans Ludeke to step down from his position as Super Rugby and ABSA Currie Cup Head Coach with immediate effect.
- Appointment of Nollis Marais as new head coach of the Vodacom Blue Bulls for the 2015 ABSA Currie Cup season.
- Process to appoint a new Vodacom Bulls Head Coach for Super Rugby 2016 ongoing.
- Extension of CEO, Barend van Graan’s contract until January 2019 (from February 2015).
The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd and the Blue Bulls Company Board of Directors in a statement on Saturday 13 June 2015 confirmed a number of coaching changes to the Vodacom Bulls and Vodacom Blue Bulls structures with regards to the ABSA Currie Cup 2015 season and the Vodacom Super Rugby season in 2016.
The Board of Directors indicated that Frans Ludeke will step down from his position as Super Rugby and Currie Cup Head Coach with immediate effect. Discussions with Ludeke about his future is ongoing as well as the process to appoint a new Head Coach for Super Rugby 2016. An announcement will be made as soon as this has been finalized.
Springbok lock Victor Matfield may have 1 eye on the Rugby World Cup, but he has made it clear he wants to coach the Vodacom Bulls at some stage.
With coach Frans Ludeke’s job coming under the spotlight at a Board of Directors’ meeting on Friday, Matfield’s role in the Bulls setup will also be under the microscope after another disappointing season where the Bulls missed out on the playoffs of the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.
There was a proposal put to the Board before the Bulls went on tour that Ludeke become Director of Rugby and that Matfield and 1 other take over the coaching role for 2016, but results on the tour have put a lot of pressure, with calls for change coming from fans and ex-Bulls legends like Naas Botha.
Matfield already runs the attack for the Bulls, and has a dual player-coaching role for the team at the moment, and has been signed to take over as coach after the Rugby World Cup later this year.
But Friday’s meeting could change all that, especially with the unhappiness that on the tour the Bulls dropped from 2nd overall and topping the South African conference to 9th and 3rd in the SA conference. Their losing streak overseas stretches to 11 games now and it is the 2nd consecutive season they missed out on the playoffs. On top of this the last time they won any trophy was in 2010.
Brent Janse van Rensburg has been appointed as head coach of the EP Kings for the upcoming Currie Cup season.
This follows after an attempt to lure Lions assistant coach Swys de Bruin to Port Elizabeth proved unsuccessful.
Janse van Rensburg, who up until now was the Kings’ defence coach, has been made head coach for the upcoming Currie Cup, while Carlos Spencer – who was head coach in last year’s Currie Cup – will stay on as backline and skills coach.
The Kings performed poorly in last year’s Currie Cup under the guidance of Spencer and there were already rumours then that the former All Black flyhalf would not be retained as head coach.
With the current DHL Stormers coach, Allister Coetzee already having confirmed his departure to Japan at the end of 2015 and with Demetri Catrakilis already having signed for Jake White’s Montpellier, the rumour mill is starting to get into full gear regarding replacements for these vital Stormers positions.
Current Hurricanes forwards coach and former Sharks head coach, John Plumtree is touted to be a favourite for the Stormers head coach position.
Johan Goosen, 2nd choice flyhalf at Racing Metro, has also been linked to a move to Cape Town, to join DHL Western Province.
Former Sharks coach John Plumtree is being linked with a move to coach the DHL Stormers in next year’s Super Rugby competition.
Plumtree is currently the assistant coach of Super Rugby log-leaders, the Hurricanes, but the New Zealander has been in connection with Western Province Director of Rugby, Gert Smal, about a possible move to Cape Town.
Allister Coetzee, the current Stormers coach, will leave the team after this year’s competition to take charge of the Kobe Kobelco Steelers in Japan.
The Golden Lions Rugby Union moved quickly to dismiss media speculation that backline coach Swys de Bruin was leaving the franchise.
De Bruin has been linked to the position of head coach at the Southern Kings, who will return to Super Rugby when the competition expands to 18 teams next year.
The GLRU said in a statement that De Bruin has a contract in place and will be continuing in his role with the team for the “foreseeable future”.
De Bruin is the current backline coach with the Lions, who had just completed their best Super Rugby season – 9 wins, 6 losses and 1 draw – since Transvaal won the Super 10 competition in 1993 and played in the 1995 Super 10 Final.
GLRU Chief Executive Officer Rudolf Straeuli confirmed that De Bruin will maintain his current role at the union.
Scottish Rugby has confirmed Glasgow Warriors assistant coach, Shade Munro, will be the new head coach of the Scotland Women’s team.
Munro will move into the role over the summer and is charged with progressing the women’s national side in line with the forthcoming National Strategy for Women & Girls’ Rugby which is being developed by Head of Women & Girls’ Rugby, Sheila Begbie MBE.
The 48-year-old former lock, capped 7 times for Scotland, has worked his way up the coaching ladder since retiring from playing in 1997 and will bring 18 years of coaching experience to the role.
After coaching initially at club level with Glasgow Hawks, Munro moved on to Glasgow Warriors as assistant coach in 2002, was part of the Scotland coaching set-up in 2006 and, as head coach in 2013, helped Scotland A to victory over England for the 1st time south of the border.
Hawies Fourie has been appointed as the new head coach of Maties, Stellenbosch University’s 1st rugby team. Fourie will start in his new role on 1 November this year.
He is the current head coach of GWK Griquas and also served as backline coach to the Toyota Cheetahs in Super Rugby.
Fourie will replace Chris Rossouw as head coach, with the latter remaining part of the coaching team.
After winning the 1st 3 editions of the Varsity Cup (2008, 2009 and 2010), Maties have struggled to stamp their authority on the competition in recent years, and Fourie’s job will be to make them a powerhouse once more.
Former Springbok coach Andre Markgraaff has been appointed in an advisory capacity at the Maties Rugby Club. Part of Markgraaff’s roles will be to look after coaching, player development and recruitment.
Although his time as Cheetahs coach ended on an underwhelming note at Newlands, Naka Drotske says he has ‘no regrets’.
There was not 1 Springbok in the Cheetahs side that went down 12 / 42 to the South African conference leaders on Saturday, bringing Drotske’s 9-year spell as coach to an end with Franco Smith set to take over.
While he was disappointed to end with a comprehensive defeat, Drotske said that they had simply been outplayed by a Stormers side he believes have what it takes to go all the way this year.
“Obviously today was a bit of a disappointment, but in saying that the Stormers played like a team that can win the competition and we had a lot of youngsters,” he said.
Looking back on his time in charge of the Cheetahs, Drotske said that he is more than satisfied with what he has achieved in a career he never expected.
“I have got no regrets, I started in 2007 as a coach, I took on the challenge. I never expected to be a coach after being a player and then a manager.
Two of the most experienced coaches in world rugby, Robbie Deans of New Zealand and France’s Bernard Laporte, will take charge of a star-studded World XV for their match against the Springboks at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday, July 11.
Deans was in charge of a Barbarians team that beat an Ireland XV, 22 / 21, in Limerick, Ireland on Thursday night and who were hammered by 73 / 12 by an England XV side on Sunday at Twickenham.
The DHL Newlands clash will be the Springboks’ season-opener and it promises to deliver festival rugby. Last year in the corresponding fixture, more than 30,000 spectators flocked to DHL Newlands to see the South Africans beat a strong World XV by 47 / 13, with Heyneke Meyer’s side scoring 6 tries in the process.
“Between them, Robbie and Bernard are 2 of the most experienced coaches in world rugby since the game turned professional 2 decades ago,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of the South African Rugby Union (SARU).
Guy Noves, the mythical manager of Top 14 giants Toulouse will take over as head coach of France following this year’s World Cup.
The 61-year-old is set to take up the post in November after fighting off competition from Bordeaux-Begles manager Raphael Ibanez amongst others, according to respected sports daily L’Equipe and radio station RMC.
A vote to decide the successor to current coach Philippe Saint-Andre was carried out in a secret ballot at the French Rugby Federation headquarters on Friday.
The FFR have announced they will make the decision official on Sunday following the Top 14 playoff clash between Toulouse and Oyonnax who meet on Saturday.
Toulouse are still in the running for a 20th French championship but must 1st overcome the challenge of Oyonnax if they want to keep their bid alive.
Noves, who has coached Toulouse since 1993 and is the most titled coach in French rugby, is set to be joined by 2 of his former players – current forwards coach Yannick Bru and Stade Francais backs’ coach Jean-Frederic Dubois.
Dewey Swartbooi has been appointed head coach of the Boland Cavaliers for the Currie Cup season.
Swartbooi, a former Boland, Bulls, Lions and Cats centre, will replace Abe Davids, who accepted a severance package following a long court battle with the union.
It was reported last week that former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers would get the job as Boland coach, but the Boland top brass has obviously had a change of heart and appointed Swartbooi instead.
According to tabloid press, De Villiers was a shoo-in for the job, but uncertainty at the embattled union led to a change in plans.
Swartbooi, who has been involved in coaching at Boland since 2012, will be assisted by Randall Modiba (backline coach) and Andries Human (forwards consultant).
The Toyota Cheetahs will bid an early farewell to long-standing coaches Naka Drotské and Os du Randt.
It was confirmed last week that Franco Smith would take over as head coach of the struggling Cheetahs franchise next season.
However, he will take over from Drotské in a couple of weeks.
Drotské and Du Randt were to have seen out the remainder of the season, but on Tuesday it was revealed they will depart early.
Du Randt, a 2-times World Cup winner as a player, accepted a “very exciting” opportunity to coach abroad.
He will also act as an ambassador for the Cheetahs.
In a statement on Tuesday the Cheetahs confirmed that Du Randt will depart the franchise during the 1st week of June.
The details of his new position will be revealed at a media briefing at the Free State Stadium, in Bloemfontein, on Saturday.
The Cheetahs host the Lions in what will be Du Randt’s final home game before his departure.
As a result of Du Rand’s early departure, Drotské has also requested an early release.
Both Du Rand and Drotské will be in charge for the last time when the Toyota Cheetahs face the DHL Stormers in Cape Town on 30 May.
England’s Rugby World Cup winning coach Clive Woodward is in the hunt to succeed Philippe Saint-Andre as France manager, L’Equipe reported on Monday.
The sports daily says the 59-year-old’s name is 1 of the 8 candidates on the French rugby federation’s shortlist to take over Les Bleus after this year’s World Cup.
The federation, which has not identified any of the finalists, will name Saint-Andre’s successor by the end of May after the 8 remaining candidates are interviewed by the federation’s selection panel.
The names most bandied about as Saint-Andre’s successor are those of Bordeaux-Begles coach Raphael Ibanez, former Montpellier manager Fabien Galthie and veteran Toulouse coach Guy Noves, who turned down the job in 2011.
L’Equipe suggests that while Woodward may be the best qualified for the job “it seems improbable that he’ll become the 1st foreign coach of Les Bleus”.
New Zealand Rugby has been forced to mediate a dispute between the Auckland Rugby Union and private owners for control of the Blues.
The Super Rugby franchise has been divided for the last fortnight due to a disagreement over whether to retain Blues coach John Kirwan or look for a replacement next season.
New Zealand Rugby released a statement from chief executive Steve Tew on Sunday explaining that he has been forced to try and resolve the issue.
“New Zealand Rugby confirms that it has been involved in discussions with the Blues shareholders,” the statement read.
“As a consequence it is apparent there are some relationship issues amongst shareholders and we have offered to mediate. We hope all parties will accept this offer so we can together resolve this issue. Because we are in the middle of discussions, we are unable to comment further at this time,” he added.
There has been tension for some time between the 2 stakeholders over which of them has control of the franchise, and Tew was apparently asked to step in by the private investors.
Crusaders Assistant Coach Tabai Matson has confirmed that he is committed to his current role at the Crusaders, despite reports linking him with the Blues.
Matson said he wanted nothing more than to help the Crusaders towards the Super Rugby Finals Series this season and he was sorry about any unnecessary distraction that the speculation around his future has caused.
“I love this team and I certainly was not out looking for a new coaching role because I am very happy here. It is true that I was approached by the Blues about whether I would consider a move to their coaching team in the future should the opportunity arise.
Former Reds and Wallabies coach John Connolly will joined the Reds’ coaching staff as a consultant this Monday, in advance of their home game against the Melbourne Rebels.
Connolly will be contracted to the Reds for the remainder of the 2015 Super Rugby season and for the 2016 Super Rugby season.
Connolly has almost 20 years of experience coaching at the elite level and was head coach of the Reds during a golden era from 1989 to 2000, during which time they won Super Six (1992) and Super 10 (1994, 1995) titles.
The Toyota Free State Cheetahs have offered Shimlas coach Franco Smith the job as head coach of their Currie Cup side.
Ryno Opperman, chairperson of the Free State Cheetahs Company’s board, confirmed the news.
The 42-year-old Smith was earlier contracted as backline coach of the Free State Cheetahs’ Currie Cup team, but after leading Shimlas to their maiden Varsity Cup title, the Cheetahs want to promote him to head coach.
“A written offer is being drawn up for Franco to serve as Currie Cup head coach from the 2015 competition,” said Opperman.
Once-capped All Black, Simon Mannix, has extended his contract as coach of Pau, ensured of promotion to the Top 14 next season, through until 2018, the club announced Tuesday.
Mannix, who had another year to run on his contract, extended his deal by 2 more years, according to Pau president Bernard Pontneau.
The 43-year-old, who won his sole New Zealand cap against France in 1994, cut his coaching teeth with Racing-Metro (2007 – 2011) and Munster (2011 – 2014) before taking over Pau and ensuring they topped the 2nd Division ProD2.
The Waratahs have announced the appointment of Daryl Gibson to the role of head coach on a 3-year contract to commence ahead of the 2016 Super Rugby season.
Gibson has been Assistant Coach of the Waratahs, under current coach Michael Cheika, since his appointment at the end of 2012, and has previously coached at the Glasgow Warriors and the Crusaders.
Waratahs Rugby CEO Greg Harris said the integrity of the selection process was of the highest priority and that Daryl’s appointment would ensure that the transition at the end of the season would be a smooth one.
“Daryl has been an integral part of the creation of a culture which the club is now identified by, and his appointment will ensure that the players can build on the positive foundation which has been established by Michael Cheika.”
The New Zealand media have turned on an iconic All Black in the wake of the Blues’ winless start to the Super Rugby season.
The Blues slumped to their 4th straight loss, a first for the 3-time former champions, after a willing and determined Emirates Lions team edged them 13 / 10 in Albany on Saturday.
The result, which leaves the Blues at the bottom of the Combined Log standings with just 2 losing bonus points to show for their efforts, has sparked calls for coach John Kirwan’s dismissal.
Under the headline ‘Blues lose to Lions, is Kirwan a goner?’ ONE News suggested that you can “hear the blades sharpening in Auckland”.
Japanese club Toyota Verblitz is believed to be after the services Cheetahs forwards coach Os du Randt.
According to reports, there’s already been informal talks between the club and Du Randt but no contract has been discussed.
New Zealander Filo Tiatia coached Toyota Verblitz this past season, while Springbok and Sharks flank Jean Deysel also plays for them.
Michael Cheika has insisted that he will be able to juggle his jobs as Wallabies and Waratahs coach throughout the 2015 Super Rugby season.
The Waratahs went unbeaten at home last year on their way to winning their first Super Rugby title which led to Cheika being appointed as Wallabies coach after Ewen McKenzie stepped down.
Cheika will step down as Waratahs coach at the end of the 2015 Super Rugby season but as they lost their first match since he took on the dual role questions would inevitably follow about whether he would be able to concentrate fully on both roles.
Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers is eager to again coach rugby at a high level.
De Villiers currently coaches the University of the Western Cape, who compete in the Varsity Shield competition.
He said, after his side lost 16 / 5 to the University of KwaZulu-Natal in their Varsity Shield opener on Monday.
De Villiers said his contract with UWC expires after this year’s Varsity Shield and he would be interested in coaching at Varsity Cup, Currie Cup, Super Rugby, international level or even an overseas club.
Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie has extended his contract with the dual Super Rugby champions for another 2 years.
Rennie led the Chiefs to back-to-back Super Rugby titles in 2012 and 2013 as well as the Finals Series in 2014, where they fell to the Brumbies.
In addition to 7 new Chiefs making the All Blacks and another 2 earning re-calls, Rennie has introduced 39 new players to a Chiefs jersey.
Before joining the Chiefs he was Head Coach of the Manawatu NPC side. As the New Zealand Under 20 Coach, his side won 3 consecutive World Championship titles from 2008-2010. He also coached Wellington from 1999 – 2002 winning the NPC in 2000. In his playing days he played 59 games as a midfield back for the Wellington Lions from 1986.
A potential crisis looms for a Stormers management that will be starting the Vodacom Super Rugby season without the defensive guru, Jacques Nienaber, that masterminded their team strength over the past seven years and with the knowledge that the head coach will be leaving at the end of the competition.
Japanese based sources have confirmed that the stories linking Allister Coetzee with the Japanese club Kobe Kobelco Steelers are more than just speculation and an expression of interest – the two time Currie Cup winning coach has made a firm commitment to replace Gary Gold as Kobe coach and will link up with his new club once the Super Rugby season is over in July.
Coetzee comes off contract this year. Among other things, he is understood to have been put out by the recruitment of former Bok and Kenya Sevens coach Paul Treu as a Stormers assistant coach without the management being consulted, and has informed the Stormers hierarchy and his fellow management of his decision.
World Cup winning coach Jake White has revealed that he has been asked by Montpellier president Mohed Altrad to remain on as coach of the French Top 14 side.
White, former Director of Rugby at the Sharks, was brought in to replace Fabien Galthie who was suspended on 29 December after a string of defeats.
“The president wants me to stay,” White said in an interview in l’Equipe and Midi Libre newspapers.
The Nelspruit-based Steval Pumas have retained the bulk of their coaching squad, without appointing a new head coach.
The top spot in the coaching became vacant earlier this month when head coach Jimmy Stonehouse resigned from his position to join Japanese club Toshiba Brave Lupus.
On Thursday the board of directors of the Mpumalanga Rugby (Pty) Ltd revealed they have decided to leave the coaching team intact for the duration of the 2015 Vodacom Cup.