Stormers

Smal to join Erasmus in the Cape?

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Rassie Erasmus has long been linked with a coaching job in Cape Town, but the latest rumour is that former Western Province and Stormers head coach Gert Smal could join the Free Stater at Newlands in 2008.

It is an open secret that Currie Cup-winning coach Erasmus had already been lined up by outgoing Director of Rugby Nick Mallett for a move to WP and the Stormers – but the former Bok flanker still looks set to move to Cape Town, despite Mallett’s imminent departure.

Now, however, according to a report in Die Burger on Thursday, Erasmus looks set to be joined by Gert Smal at Newlands, the latter having coached WP to successive Currie Cups in 2000 and 2001, whilst also guiding the Stormers to a Super 12 semi-final in 2004.

But Smal’s tenure at Newlands did not end on the best terms in 2005 when he coached the Stormers to a miserable 11th place, culminating in a 14-75 horror defeat at the hands of a rampant Bulls team in Pretoria.

Smal, like Erasmus, is part of the current Springbok management set-up under Jake White, but will be without a job after the World Cup when White is set to step aside.

Smal, Erasmus (who has officially been released by the Cheetahs), SA Under-21 coach Peter de Villiers and WP’s new caretaker coach in the Absa Currie Cup, Gary Gold, are all said to be in the frame for the now vacant Director of Rugby (and Stormers coach) and WP (head coach) jobs.

Meanwhile, according to the same article in Die Burger, Nick Mallett might not see his contract out until the end of the year.

Mallett, who chose not to re-apply for the job as DoR at WP Rugby, is due to remain in the saddle until the end of December, but he could be asked to leave earlier – once the new appointments for next season have been made.

WP head coach Kobus van der Merwe officially announced his resignation on Wednesday afternoon after plenty of speculation about his future in recent weeks; firstly after yet another disappointing Super 14 campaign in charge of the Stormers and, more recently, after he chose to lambast his players in public following successive Currie Cup losses to Boland and the Sharks.

“Some players took it personally. It may have alienated them (from the coach),” WP hooker Schalk Brits told the newspaper.

“No team enjoys getting together at ten o’clock on a Sunday morning to go running. That is family time,” he added when asked about Van der Merwe’s now infamous 11km ‘punishment run’ on Sunday morning.

 

365 Digital

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