Smal out of Springbok frame?
Dublin - After months of speculation linking him with the vacant position of Springboks’ head coach, Gert Smal is set to remain part of the Irish management rather than return to his native country.
The Irish forwards’ coach has been strongly linked with the Springboks job, with several South African media outlets describing him as the overwhelming favourite to succeed Peter de Villiers, but Smal is intent on seeing out the remainder of his contract which expires at the end of the 2012/13 season, according to the Irish Times website.
SARU’s 12-man executive council will meet on January 26 to finalise the selection process before their recommendation is expected to be ratified by SARU’s Special General Council meeting 24 hours later.
It’s been suggested that Roux has been to Dublin to interview Smal, who also returned to Cape Town with his family on leave over Christmas, but IRFU sources have said there has been no indication Smal would be leaving, certainly not before the upcoming Six Nations.
Sources in South African rugby say that ideally the newly installed head coach would start work “ASAP”, even though the Springboks squad won’t get together until June 3 in readiness for the first of a dozen matches in 2012, in Durban against England on June 9.
However, it is believed that Smal is not of a mind to break his contract nor, with his son and daughter happily placed in schools in Ireland, move his family.