Mallett forced out of WP



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Western Province Director of Rugby Nick Mallett will see out his contract until the end of the year, but will not be re-applying for the position, after it was announced by the Board of WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd that his position would now include the coaching of the Stormers Super 14 franchise.

WP Rugby will thus advertise the position, with Rassie Erasmus, the current Springbok technical analyst, suddenly the front-runner to take this newly-created post, with Mallett’s old ally Alan Solomons now completely out of the picture.

This follows word that both the Board of WP Rugby, and the amateur branch, the Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU), had lost faith in Mallett as a Director of Rugby, and either wanted to utilise his proven coaching skills in the Super 14, or see the back of him completely.

Thus the decision was taken to merge the post of Director of Rugby, with the Stormers coaching job.

Mallett, however, promptly confirmed on Friday that he would not be applying for the job.

“I respect the decision of the Board, but given my position of not wanting to coach in South Africa, I will not be applying for the position,” said Mallett via a statement.

Mallett – the Springbok coach between 1997 and 2001 – coached the Boks to its longest-ever Test-match winning streak between 1997 and 1998, including winning the ’98 Tri-Nations series, before recently going on to coach Stade Fran’ais to the league title in France.

But, since his return to SA, Mallett has always made it clear that he did not want to take on a hands-on coaching role in South Africa.

Mallett, however, would no doubt be able to walk into virtually any coaching job in France, with the national job – as a successor to the outgoing Bernard Laporte – a possibility after the World Cup. Mallett, who is fluent in French, is well-liked in France; his success and personality making him a popular figure.

With Mallett heading for the door, it remains a mystery how WP Rugby CEO Rob Wagner still continues to survive, with the union not having won a major trophy since the 2001 Currie Cup under Gert Smal. Carel du Plessis succeeded Smal at the helm of WP, before making way for Mallett’s new coaching staff of Kobus van der Merwe, Jerome Paarwater and Gary Gold. Van der Merwe is also set to leave WP after the Currie Cup, with Gold having already been ‘downgraded’, but yet Wagner still remains in charge… It makes one think.

Meanwhile, Rassie Erasmus has already revealed that he is ready to be a head coach again, after initially saying he would rather do without the pressures of the lead position of a coaching team.

Erasmus has now said he would coach a Super 14 side, but he would not combine that role with Currie Cup coaching. The new Stormers post has now seemingly been tailored to his requirements, suggesting it is highly probable that Erasmus is soon to be named the new Stormers coach.


365 Digital

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