Pretoria - Former Bulls coach Frans Ludeke will be coaching again soon - this time at the Rugby World Cup, the supersport.com website reports.
Ludeke, who stepped down as coach of the Bulls after this year’s Super Rugby campaign, will leave South Africa on Wednesday night en route to Fiji, where he will join up with the national side to help them prepare for their Rugby World Cup campaign later this year.
The Bulls coach boasts a great CV that includes Super Rugby titles in 2009 and 2010, and will be joining the team as a consultant and helping them plan for their massive task in the World Cup’s pool of death.
Fiji are drawn against the powerhouses Australia, England and Wales in their group and play the World Cup’s opening game against England at Twickenham, giving them the perfect stage to make an impression.
But the one thing that the Pacific Islanders have always lacked is forwards that can compete with the other nations, while at the back the natural flair is comparable with any side in the world.
Ludeke will have a specific focus area for the Fijians and will be at his first World Cup tournament, something he cannot wait to experience.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am, I’m going to have a new role, as assistant coach,” said Ludeke.
“I will have the chance to focus on specific areas and help players in them, the pressure isn’t as great as being head coach. I’m excited about this.
“The areas I will be focusing on is the lineouts and kickoffs, and it will be great to zoom in on them and break them down. I come from a system where we had the best lineout in the last few years, we were in the top 2 in Super Rugby in the last eight years. I’m excited about it.”
The Bulls coach was released from his contract with the Pretoria union after both parties agreed the opportunity to be at the World Cup will be a great one for him.
Ludeke will spend the next three months in Fiji as they prepare for the World Cup, with his family joining him for part of the time.
He is now excited again about the prospect of coaching from a different view, and making an impression at the Rugby World Cup while experiencing it for the first time.
“That’s why it is such a great opportunity. It’s really amazing that this would cross my path, that this door would be opened for me,” he added.
“I am excited to work with someone with as much experience as John McKee, and to both contribute and learn from him. Also I’m excited to be working with such wonderful talented players that Fiji have. They have a wonderful work ethic and amazing natural rugby talent and everything you see on television of them, the way they play and the way they act is positive. I can’t wait to start.”
Ludeke will be with Fiji until after the Rugby World Cup, and is open to other opportunities thereafter that might come his way, but for now the decision to leave the Bulls has been softened by the new challenge.
Perhaps the right one at the right time for the former Bulls mentor.