Mallett’s departure a ‘joke’



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Former Springbok centre Robbie Fleck has slammed Western Province Rugby for forcing Nick Mallett to re-apply as Director of Rugby of WP and the Stormers, which effectively saw the former Bok coach forced out of his job.

Mallett – who coached the Boks to a record-equalling Test run between 1997 and 1998 – on Friday announced that he would not be re-applying for the Director of Rugby job at Western Province and the Stormers.

His announcement came shortly after Pat Kuhn – the chairman of WP Rugby – announced that the Director of Rugby would have to play a more hands-on role and coach the Stormers in next year’s Super 14.

“Simply put – Mallett’s departure is a huge loss for Western Province and the Stormers,” wrote former Bok ace Fleck in his weekly column.

“Nick’s heart was in it at WP and he wanted to take Province back to the top of the pile; he comes with an impressive CV, having coached the Boks, but also achieving so much in Paris with Stade Fran’ais. He had many goals and ideals to achieve in his three-year plan at WP, ranging from getting former players involved at grass-roots level, to developing rugby right across the board for every age and colour.

“He was the right man for the job and he had a vision.”

Fleck added that Mallett’s departure “has set WP back 10 years”.

“That vision is now in tatters; it has cost the union a lot of money, but more worryingly, Nick’s departure has set WP back 10 years,” he said. “To be honest, it’s a joke that he was not able to – or allowed to – achieve his goals.”

Fleck continued: “I know, for a fact, that Nick had the required support in the Pty, but the union, sadly, have their own agendas and their lack of support is ultimately what has driven him away. Nick is not scared of ruffling feathers and I have never seen him stand back to anyone – yet, he is now, what does that tell you? I can’t blame Nick for deciding not to re-apply for his job – how the hell could he be expected to do a half-decent job without the necessary support at Board level?

“A Director of Rugby should have the final say on who the coach is and which players should be recruited; he shouldn’t have to fight three months’ worth of red tape to make one thing happen, he should have Carte Blanche to hire any coach – no matter who and at any price. He cannot be expected to support a coach that he clearly does not rate.”


365 Digital

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