Top job for Nick Mallett

Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett had been appointed Western Province’s (WP) director of rugby, the president of the WP Rugby Football Union, Koos Basson, announced on Tuesday.

The newly created position forms part of the strategic vision for WP rugby. Mallett has been appointed on a contract basis for three years.

Mallett was successful over several other applicants. Basson said Mallett’s strengths, among others, were his in-depth knowledge of the game and players throughout the world, excellent communication, and his ability to adapt game plans, selections and styles of play to suit various conditions and types of players.

Other of Mallett’s attributes are his extensive and varied coaching experience, understanding of the demands and nature of the “modern” game and the physical, mental and tactical evolutions since rugby became professional, and his superb record in identifying talented young players and bringing them through the system.

Mallett holds a BA and higher diploma in education from the University of Cape Town, as well as a postgraduate diploma in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford.

On the coaching front, Mallett has had many highlights, including being the head coach at French club Stade Francais from July 2002 to June 2004, and winning the French championship twice.

Last season, he was voted 2004 French coach of the year.

As a coach, he is best remembered as a former Springbok coach (1997 to 2000). During that time, he won the 1998 Tri Nations Championship and then set up a joint world record for 17 consecutive Test victories with the Boks.

At the 1999 World Cup, the Boks won a bronze medal under Mallett.

Mallett was also assistant Springbok coach in 1996, head coach of Boland (1995 to 1996), head of False Bay Rugby Club (1994 and 1995) and player, captain and coach of both St Claude and ACBB Rugby Clubs between 1985 and 1994.

“It is the belief of the board, executive and senior personnel that Nick will help us progress WP Rugby’s quest of remaining world class,” said Basson.—Sapa

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