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.
New Zealander Tom Coventry has been appointed as the new head coach of London Irish for the 2015 / 2016 season, the English Premiership strugglers announced on Wednesday.
The 48-year-old, who is currently assistant coach of New Zealand team the Chiefs, will succeed former director of rugby Brian Smith, who has been released early from his contract on compassionate grounds.
“The owners have a clear vision of where they want to take the club,” Coventry told the London Irish website.
Stormers and Western Province coach Allister Coetzee is in high demand to coach in the Japanese league, according to reports.
Coetzee, who still has one year left on his contract with WP, is believed to be a strong candidate to replace Gary Gold as coach of the Kobe Kobelco Steelers in Japan. Gold is set to leave the Steelers to take up the role of Sharks Director of Rugby.
Meanwhile, WP’s Vodacom Cup and Under 21 coach, John Dobson, is also believed to be on the wish list of the EP Kings, while there is also interest in Dobson’s backline coach, Dawie Snyman.
Gert Smal, WP’s Director of Rugby, said they would like to keep all current coaches at the union for the next three years and are busy with negotiations.
After seven years at the helm of the Pumas, Jimmy Stonehouse will be leaving Nelspruit to ply his trade in Japan with the Toshiba Brave Lupus.
Stonehouse had been instrumental in the team being promoted to the Currie Cup Premier Division in 2010 and again in 2014 while their promotion, and unbeaten run in the 2013 First Division competition, earned Stonehouse the SA Rugby Union’s Coach of the Year award.
He had been approached on three previous occasions by Japanese clubs, which he turned down, the latest being in February 2014 but he feels that it is the right time to move on and take on a new challenge.
South Africa’s 2007 Rugby World Cup winning coach Jake White is set to be named manager of Top 14 side Montpellier on Thursday.
The 51-year-old – a two-time IRB World Coach of the Year – has signed a six month contract according to a well-informed source.
His appointment will place almost unbearable pressure on head coach Fabien Galthie as White will be the former France captain’s superior.
Galthie, who has been seen as a potential successor to present France coach Philippe Saint-Andre should he step down after next year’s World Cup, has seen his position at the club weakened with a seven match losing run dating back to October 11 which only ended in their game last Saturday with a narrow win over Toulouse.
They are presently in sixth place, the last position for the post-season play-offs, 11 points off leaders and defending champions Toulon.
The Kenya Rugby Union on Tuesday appointed Felix Ochieng as the new sevens team head coach to replace South African Paul Treu who resigned last week.
Ochieng, who was one of Treu’s two deputy coaches will remain in charge of the team for the remainder of the 2014 / 2015 season.
Steve Hansen’s term as All Blacks head coach has been extended by two years, ensuring he will be in charge when the British and Irish Lions tour New Zealand in 2017.
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew told a news conference Tuesday that Hansen will continue in his role for two years after the 2015 World Cup.
Western Province Rugby has announced some exciting additions to its coaching resources, with Paul Treu, Rito Hlungwani and Hanyani Shimange set to join, in various capacities, from 2015 onwards.
The signing of Treu, Hlungwani and Shimange will bolster the DHL Stormers and various DHL Western Province professional teams, whilst WP Rugby has also agreed to release Jacques Nienaber to further his career at national level.
Treu is a highly-regarded coach on the World Sevens circuit, having put South African Sevens on the map by guiding the Springbok Sevens side to the overall IRB Sevens World Series title in 2008/09 and recently also finishing a stint as coach of the national Kenyan Sevens team.
Treu, 43, coached the SA Sevens team between 2004 and 2013, leading them to an overall tally of 14 tournament wins and building a professional and structured squad set-up in the process. His presence will add a new and exciting dynamic to the settled DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province coaching set-ups.
The Golden Lions Rugby Union is not worried about reports stating that head coach Johan Ackermann is being targeted by a top Japanese club.
It was reported earlier this week that the Lions will struggle to keep Ackermann in South Africa after next year’s Rugby World Cup, with the former Springbok lock reportedly receiving a big-money offer from a Japanese club.
However, the Lions insisted they will not have a fight on their hands to hold on to the services of Ackermann.
It has been widely reported in various sections of the media today that the Lions are set to announce a 5 YEAR sponsorship deal with Emirates Airlines which would also include naming rights to the iconic Ellis Park Stadium.
The announcement, which will also include details of 2 other sponsorship deals is set to be made by Lions CEO Kevin de Klerk and CEO Rudolph Strauli tomorrow (11 December 2014).
Wales coach Warren Gatland has denied he was under extra pressure as his team sought an elusive win over a Southern Hemisphere side when they clash with South Africa on Saturday.
Gatland’s record against the SANZAR sides of Australia, New Zealand and the Springboks since taking charge in 2007 does not make for pleasant reading: played 27, won one, lost 26.
That solitary win was against the Wallabies, 21-18, back in 2008, but Gatland on Thursday played down reports in the media that he was under extra pressure, 10 months away from the World Cup in England.
After opening their November campaign with a 28-33 defeat by Australia, an experimental Wales side scraped past Fiji 17-13 before rebounding against New Zealand, leading after 69 minutes before leaking three late tries to go down 16-34.
Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse is pondering his future after a receiving an offer to coach in Japan.
According to reports, Stonehouse has until next Friday to decide if he will accept an offer to coach the Toshiba Brave Lupus.
Should he decide to leave, he would be lost for South African rugby until the middle part of 2017.
The Cell C Sharks are expected to name their new Super Rugby coach and successor to Jake White within the next two weeks.
White left the Sharks in mysterious circumstances last month with reports indicating there was growing discord between himself and management, as well as with the players.
Brad MacLeod-Henderson took charge of the Cell C Sharks during the Currie Cup, but it’s unlikely that he’ll be the head coach during Super Rugby.
The Australian Rugby Union on Wednesday confirmed that Michael Cheika is the new Wallaby coach, ahead of a tough End Of Year European tour.
He has been appointed on a three-year contract, coming in the wake of the controversial departure of Ewen McKenzie as a result of the fall-out over the Kurtley Beale saga.
ARU Chief Executive Officer Bill Pulver said Michael Cheika was the outstanding candidate for the role.
“Central to our decision was selecting a world-class coach who can lead us to victory in next year’s World Cup and a person who represents the game’s core values,” Pulver said.
Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham turned down the opportunity to help coach the Wallabies on their End Of Year Tour.
The Rugby World Cup winning Wallabies playmaker Larkham has tipped to be the attack coach working as an assistant to Michael Cheika.
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika was confirmed as replacement Wallabies coach on Wednesday.
Larkham said that he was honoured to be considered but would prefer to concentrate on preparing for the Brumbies upcoming Super Rugby season.
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika confirmed on Monday he has been offered the Wallabies coaching job left vacant by the resignation of Ewen McKenzie, saying it was “humbling”.
A smiling Cheika, dressed in a Waratahs tracksuit top and black jeans, confirmed the offer when he spoke to the media out the front of Waratahs headquarters at Moore Park. “It’s a pretty humbling experience to be asked to be involved in something like that, but we’ll see what happens,” Cheika said.
The Australian Rugby Union revealed that Ewen McKenzie has resigned as Wallaby coach.
McKenzie announced his resignation after the Qantas Wallabies were gallant in defeat, going down 29-28 to New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday 18 October.
Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver paid tribute to McKenzie who has led Australia in 22 Tests since starting in the role in August 2013.
“I did not ask Ewen to resign, but understand his decision. He informed me this morning of his intention to resign, regardless of tonight’s result.”
The Australian Rugby Union is rejecting reports it is preparing to replace Ewen McKenzie as Wallabies coach.
Australian media say talks have taken place between senior union officials and McKenzie’s most-likely successor, New South Wales Waratahs coach Michael Cheika.
But in a statement late Monday ARU Chief Executive Bill Pulver said: “the ARU has not had any conversations with any other coaches regarding the Wallabies coaching position.
“Ewen [McKenzie] is coaching the team [against the All Blacks] this weekend and next Friday he will board the plane with the team for the November Tests tour [to Britain] and is contracted to Australian Rugby to lead the Wallabies to next year’s Rugby World Cup.”
Former All Black David Hill will join the coaching team at the Blues for the forthcoming Super Rugby season.
Hill will take up the role as backs skills coach for the Blues, to complete their coaching group for the 2015 season under head coach Sir John Kirwan and assistant coaches Grant Doorey and Glenn Moore.
He has enjoyed a long career including representation for the All Blacks, Maori All Blacks, Junior All Blacks, more than 50 games for the Chiefs and the 2010 Super Rugby season for the Force.
Heyneke Meyer lauds him as the one of the unsung heroes in the Springboks’ transition to an attacking game plan, with many of the stellar try-scoring feats being attributed to his role, but ask the average rugby fan what they know about Johan van Graan and many will struggle to come up with a single fact.
From his early days as a ball-boy at Loftus Versfeld, kicking the leather pigskin back to the likes of Naas Botha and Johan Heunis, Van Graan has always had an obsession with the game.
But now it is his hard-work, the hours that go unseen as he meticulously analyses the opposition, helps craft the Springbok attacking structures and spends almost every moment in trying to make the Bok side a massive success that make him such a vital cog in the current Springbok machine.
Jake White could make a quick return to rugby coaching with Japan coach Eddie Jones keen to secure his services with the Brave Blossoms.
It was announced yesterday that White would be parting ways with the Sharks after a single season in Durban.
White and Jones worked together with South Africa during the successful 2007 World Cup campaign when the Australian helped the squad in a consulting role.
And the roles could be reversed this time, with Jones in charge of Japan, and eager to bring in White although he admits the South African will be in high demand.
“He is going to do some consultancy, I just don’t know where,” Jones told Kyodo News.
The sudden departure of Jake White as Sharks director of rugby has led to informed sources confirming there was growing discord between White and his back-room staff as well as with the players.
While White may not technically have been “fired” by the board of the Sharks, it is believed he was no longer heading a harmonious environment.
It is understood that Gary Gold, the former Springbok assistant coach under Peter de Villiers, could be the front runner to replace White as the Super Rugby coach, while former All Blacks coach John Mitchell could also be in the running.
A schools rugby coach who breached South African Rugby Union (SARU) rules governing underage rugby has been suspended and the points his school took for the match were overturned, following a SARU disciplinary hearing.
The charge was the first brought to SARU under new regulations that were introduced to protect players under the age of 18 at the start of last season.
Former Highlanders coach Glenn Moore will take charge of the Blues forward pack for the next two years.
Moore will join the Blues fulltime at the conclusion of the Heartland Championship – he is the current Mid Canterbury head coach – and replace All Blacks skills coach Mick Byrne, who stepped down at this end of last season.
Auckland-born Moore partners head coach Kirwan and assistant Grant Doorey in the coaching team with a back skills coach, who will fill Sir Graham Henry’s void, to be appointed in the coming weeks.
Moore reckons none of his Super Rugby charges will phone to say they can’t make training because the cow shed roof has blown off in a big storm.
Stephen Larkham has committed to another three years as Brumbies Head Coach, taking him through to the end of the 2017 Super Rugby season.
The announcement comes as Laurie Fisher confirmed he will finish his tenure as Director of Rugby with the Brumbies at season’s end to pursue opportunities in Europe.
“It’s a huge moment in my career to be extending my position here. I’ve had a long history with the Brumbies with some success, but the idea of new challenges has made this really exciting for me and my family,” Larkham said.
The Free State Cheetahs will tackle this year’s Currie Cup competition under a new head coach, the Free State Rugby Union said on Thursday.
Super Rugby coach Naka Drotské hands over the reins for the coming domestic competition to the coach of this year’s Free State Vodacom Cup side, Rory Duncan.
Drotské, who would be heading off to the UK to expand his coaching knowledge abroad, remained the head coach for the Cheetahs Super Rugby campaign next year. Griquas coach Hawies Fourie and former Springbok prop Os du Randt would be his assistants for the 2015 competition.
Former England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson says it would be “amazing” to one day coach his country after announcing he will retire from playing this month.
The 34-year-old will play in the Heineken Cup and Top 14 finals for Toulon, at which point he will join the French club’s coaching staff.
Wilkinson played 91 times for England, famously kicking a winning drop-goal in the 2003 World Cup final.
Auckland coach Wayne Pivac has become the latest in a growing number of New Zealamd mentors who are heading to Europe.
The Scarlets announced that Pivac will join them as an assistant coach at Parc y Scarlets next season, to further strengthen the set-up in West Wales.
While the Vodacom Cup heads towards two very competitive semifinals this weekend, one small story that will go unnoticed will be the rise of a top young new coach in Peter Engledow, who will take Griquas into their big showdown with the Pumas in Nelspruit confident of victory.
World Cup-winning coach Jake White still has hopes of coaching at the highest level again despite his disappointment at missing out on the Wallabies job last year.
White, who guided South Africa to the 2007 World Cup, thought himself a shoo-in to take over from New Zealander Robbie Deans as Australia coach last year but missed out to Ewen McKenzie.