Stonehouse keen to coach SA franchise
Ockert de Villiers - Sport24
Johannesburg - Former Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse, one of the country’s most
undervalued coaches, is rumoured to have thrown his name into the hat for vacant
coaching positions at the Sharks, Bulls and Southern Kings.
Four of South
Africa’s franchises will be looking to fill their vacant head coach positions
before the start of the revamped and extended Super Rugby tournament in 2016.
Stonehouse took up a
coaching job with Japanese club Toshiba Brave Lupus earlier this year after he
declined two previous offers from abroad with the hope of landing a job with a
South African franchise.
The Bulls head coach
position opened up over the weekend when Frans Ludeke resigned after eight years
in charge of South Africa’s most successful Super Rugby franchise.
The Kings put out
feelers to Lions assistant coach Swys de Bruin, who has been an integral part
of the Johannesburg side’s resurrection from Super Rugby outcasts to finishing
as the second-best team in the South African franchise this season.
However, De Bruin
declined citing unfinished business with the Lions which left the Kings
coaching position in limbo.
Both the Sharks and
the Stormers are also looking to fill their vacant head coach positions with
new Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold confirming he would not fulfill the coaching
role any longer, and the Capetonians looking for a replacement for Allister Coetzee,
who is Japan-bound.
Stonehouse has a
proven track record and was named the SA Rugby Union's Coach of the Year award
in 2013 after the Pumas were promoted to the Currie Cup Premier Division following their unbeaten run in the First Division competition.
Stonehouse is believed to be among the favourites to take the reins of the
Kings when they make their return to Super Rugby.
The Southern Kings’
coaching stocks have been depleted since Director of Rugby Alan Solomons left
to coach Edinburgh in 2013 and head coach Matt Sexton returned to New
Zealand at the end of that year.