Bulls may defer decision on new coach

The Bulls’ quest to find a new coach to replace Heyneke Meyer next season has run its course — but now there seems to be doubt whether they must proceed with the appointment of Meyer’s successor.

The incumbent coach is waiting for the appointment of the new Springbok coach, a position for which he has applied. But, it is learnt on good authority — and not from the Bulls, who remain mum on the whole issue — that the most successful Bulls coach to date will be leaving.

At Loftus, nothing much is forthcoming except the usual ”no comment” as far as the interviewees are concerned. Now it seems that there is a train of thought that it would be unfair on the new coach to be appointed with only a month’s time left to prepare for the 2008 Super 14.

Added to that, the new coach would have to accept the contracted players, without substantial input on who he would prefer in the squad.

The uncertainty regarding the inspirational captain Victor Matfield’s future with the team, the move of Gary Botha to Harlequins and the loss of two young locks in Francois van Schouwenburg and Cliffie Milton, as well as the retirement of fullback Johan Roets, means that the Bulls are a team in flux.

The outcome of the Bulls’ new line of thinking is that they may decide to only appoint their new coach towards the middle of next year and go into the Super 14 with the present acting head coach Pote Human.

Human is one of the 10 coaches who were interviewed in Midrand this week.

The coaches interested in the lucrative Bulls job include three who have coached at Super 14 level — Frans Ludeke, Alan Solomons and Rudy Joubert. Another, Gert Smal, who it is learnt was a favourite to be appointed as coach, withdrew from the race for personal reasons.

Such a delay in the appointment of a coach in mid 2008 will give him ample time to plan for the 2009 season after taking stock of the available talent and identifying new players that he feels he needs. – Sapa

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