Cape Town - Blue
Bulls coach, Nollis Marais, will take over the role as head coach of the Bulls at the start of the 2016 Super Rugby season.
The current Absa
Currie Cup, and former Vodacom Cup and Under-21 head coach will assume the Bulls coaching reins.
“Nollis is a
stern testament of a true Blue Bulls man, he has coached at every level within
the union, from schoolboy level right up to his current position as Currie Cup
head coach. I am more than satisfied that we have appointed the best
coach to take over the reins of the Bulls,” said BBRU president, Gert
“Nollis is more
than familiar with our systems, and has built a respectable record and
reputation over the past couple of seasons since he has been with the BBCo. His
knowledge, paired with his vision and innovation, will stand us in good stead
for the future.”
Having guided the
Vodacom Blue Bulls Under-21 side to three titles over the past four seasons,
two Varsity Cup gold medals with UP-Tuks, and since taking over the reins as
Vodacom Cup head coach in 2013, Marais has lead the team to the play off stages
in all three seasons.
43-year-old Marais made a brave and bold decision back in 2007 to quit his full
time job as a senior logistics planner and pursue his passion to become a full
time professional coach. This left him without an income and he had to take out
a mortgage on his house to ensure he was able to fulfill his commitments.
Marais’ appointment, John Newbury, chairperson of the BBCo Board said: “Nollis has
the full support and backing of the board, and we have peace of mind that he is
the right man for the job. This has been a thorough process and we can now
start to look to the future. We know he won’t leave any stone unturned as
he strives to take the Vodacom Bulls back to the top.”
always on my mind in terms of potential candidates and it’s a massive coup that
we have appointed one of our own, a coach that has been brought through our
system. His coaching credentials and achievements speak for
themselves,” Barend van Graan, CEO of the BBCo said.
“Nollis has a sound
knowledge of the business, and he is well aware of all the challenges. He is a
man to embrace those challenges and ensure that with innovative thinking,
planning and sound preparation we will achieve success. He has worked with
most of the players within our system and in a short period of time already
implemented a lot of changes, and managed to turn the tide during the Absa
Currie Cup. Nollis will now be able to add even more value in his new position
- both in terms of pushing for trophies, and more importantly, in helping the
continued development of our coaches and players,” van Graan added.
“I am a coach that enjoys a challenge and I see this job as a huge challenge,
but one that excites me tremendously. I will do everything in my power to
ensure the Bulls remain among the pace setters of world rugby.”
Marais who has
been given a four year contract, said it is humbling to be able to coach the Bulls.
“The team must
always be accessible to the people and the fans. This team belongs to them and
without their support we won’t be able to do what we love. I need every player,
supporter and employee to assist me in making this the best team in the
world. This will however not be an easy task and most definitely not a
fairytale to immediate success.”
“This is a dream
come true, the most special and memorable moment of my career thus far, it has
always been my biggest dream to be head coach of the Bulls. I would like to thank each and every individual that has played a part in my
life, and that has assisted me in getting to this point.”Van
Graan, meanwhile, also confirmed that the remainder of the coaching teams will
be announced during the course of next week.