Super 14 Rugby

Proposed Super 14 will affect Current SA coaches

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Kevin Putt(Sharks), Chester Williams(Cats), Heyneke Meyer(Bulls) and Gert Smal(Stormers) will, for the time being, only be involved in the Super 12 for next year’s competition.

From 2006, the search for South Africa’s premier coaches will begin all over again.

That’s when the southern hemisphere’s biggest provincial rugby competition is expected to involve 14 teams, should broadcasting giant News Corp accept the new proposal offered to them by Sanzar – the controlling body of rugby in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Should News Corp give the go-ahead for a Super 14, South Africa’s five teams and the administration will then revert to the franchises or unions and they will have to employ the coaches and pay the salaries.

Smal and Putt’s existing contracts with SA Rugby come to an end in October next year, making them free agents, even though the Stormers man will, in all probability, still be drawing a salary due to his involvement with the Springboks.

Williams, who currently holds a contract with the national body due to his previous employment as the SA Sevens coach, will, like Meyer, only be offered a deal for next season.

Then it’s up to the individual unions to take care of their own teams.

There’s still a way to go, though, before the coaches sign their contracts of employment for next season.

“SA Rugby have only offered these four guys jobs, but nothing has as yet been discussed or decided,” said SA Rugby MD Johan Prinsloo yesterday.

“I’ll have a chat to the chairman of the remuneration committee, Dolf van Huyssteen, next week and then we’ll go into negotiations with the coaches.” Prinsloo is in London and will only return to South Africa later this week.

Williams, who took over from Tim Lane as Cats coach midway through the season last year, said yesterday he would meet Prinsloo first before continuing with his preparations for next season.

“There are still a few issues to be sorted out, like my contract, but also the assistant coaches’ position needs to be discussed,” said the former Bok winger.

“However, I want to start as soon as possible. Everything has been planned, it’s now just a matter of putting the pieces of the puzzle together.”

An announcement from Sanzar for an expanded Super 12 and an extra round of matches in the Tri-Nations is expected within the next few days.

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