Stormers to stick with coach




Kobus van der Merwe will remain as Stormers coach till the end of the 2007 campaign.

It was confirmed on Monday that at a meeting of the Governing Body of the Stormers at Newlands on Monday, representatives from Boland Rugby Union (BRU) and the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU), decided to retain the current Stormers coaching structures for the remainder of the campaign.

A statement issued afterwards said the decision has been communicated to the team and management in New Zealand.

“Feedback from the investigation into team performance by Director of Rugby Nick Mallett and Stormers CEO Rob Wagner, will be provided to the management team and player base on their return from New Zealand with the aim of providing assistance and guidance,” a statement from the Stormers board said.

“The Governing Body reiterated its full support for the team and management for the 2007 Super 14 campaign.”

However, the statement leaves several questions unanswered.
1. What was the real purpose of the trip to Australasia last week by Mallet and Wagner?
2. What was achieved and what did they find out that they did not already know?
3. What questions did they ask Down Under that they could not ask via telephone?
4. Why was the “investigation” conducted in Australasia and not in South Africa – either before the team’s departure or after its return?
5. Is this just bullying tactics?

Ultimately it appears – and the talk in the Newlands corridors suggest this is indeed the case – the knives are still out for Van der Merwe and it is merely a case that a recent letter from the coach’s lawyer made it clear that they could not summarily fire him and needs to follow due processes.

That means he will stay on till the end of the Super 14 campaign and in the meantime a process will be put in place to bring in a new coach to replace Van der Merwe for the Currie Cup campaign.

By Jan de Koning 365 Digital 

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