Mum’s the word on Bulls coaching saga




Blue Bulls Rugby Union (BBRU) officials have steadfastly refused to comment on reports that they have actively started their search to find a replacement for coach Heyneke Meyer.

As the Bulls started their Super 14 pre-season preparations under the watchful eye of stand-in coach Pote Human (pictured), in Pretoria on Monday, reports surfaced in the media that the hunt for Heyneke Meyer’s successor as Bulls head coach will begin on Wednesday.

According to reports a series of interviews will be conducted with several candidates this week.

However, Barend van Graan, the chief executive of the Blue Bulls Company (the commercial arm of the BBRU), refused to comment.

“I stand by my no comment decision,” Van Graan told this website on Tuesday.

It is the second time in recent weeks that the Bulls officials declined to comment on speculation about a possible successor to Meyer – who is one of four candidates on the Springbok coaching shortlist.

Meyer is favoured to replace Jake White as Springbok coach. The other candidates on the shortlist are Chester Williams, Peter de Villiers and Allister Coetzee.

The Bulls also played the “no comment” card recently when it was speculated that Human was on standby to replace Meyer.

However, the most recent reports claim that discussions could take place with up to 12 potential candidates to replace Meyer.

According to a report in the Afrikaans daily Beeld, the list of potential candidates include Human, Ashley Evert and Nico Serfontein – who are all currently on the Blue Bulls company books as coaches.

Human is acting chief coach of the Bulls. Evert coached the union’s Vodacom and Under-21 teams this year and former Leopards coach Serfontein was in charge of the Under-19s.

Other names in the hat are said to be those of assistant Springbok coach Gert Smal, a former Stormers coach, as well as Falcons coach Rudy Joubert, who coached the Bulls before Meyer took over, former Cheetahs coach Peet Kleynhans, and John Williams, a former Falcons coach who was a Namibian assistant coach at the World Cup tournament.

Another name that has been mentioned is that of Australian Todd Louden, who coached the Bulls backs this year.

Louden was appointed for two years, but returned to Australia for personal reasons and accepted a position with New South Wales.

That the Blue Bulls administrators are willing to start conducting interviews before the Springbok coach has been appointed confirms that Meyer knows about and approves of the developments.

Meyer’s contract with the company expires only at the end of 2009.

Since the Bulls won the Super 14 championship earlier this year, Meyer has hinted that he does not want to continue coaching at that level.

If he does not become the next Springbok coach, he is likely to be retained for the Bulls and the Blue Bulls in a position similar to that held by Rob Andrew, director of the English Rugby Union.


365 Digital

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