Pretoria – The Bulls’ search for a replacement for Super Rugby coach Frans Ludeke will start in earnest when the union advertise for the vacant position over the weekend.
Bulls chief executive Barend van Graan announced the latest development after Ludeke stepped down following the team’s final match of the competition in June.
“We will advertise for the Vodacom Bulls coach position for next year and will be in the media over the weekend,” Van Graan said in Pretoria on Thursday.
“We will then have a process which takes time depending on the amount of applications we receive.”
Van Graan would not reveal whether the Bulls had done any headhunting prior to advertising the position.
South African lock Victor Matfield and Springbok assistant coach Johann van Graan were among the names bandied about as possible candidates.
English Premiership side Northampton Saints announced on Wednesday that Matfield would join them on a one-year deal after he was released from his coaching contract with the Bulls.
Johann van Graan’s contract with the SA Rugby Union is set to expire at the end of this year and should he apply for the job it could see him return to the Bulls as head coach.
He is widely regarded for his technical expertise and has cut his teeth at Loftus Versfeld where he played a vital role for the Bulls during their Super Rugby supremacy between 2007 and 2010 as forwards and attack coach.
Nollis Marais has emerged as a strong candidate following his appointment as Blue Bulls coach during this year’s Currie Cup.
He has rejuvenated Bulls rugby with an exciting brand and creating a winning culture in the first half of the Currie Cup competition.
The team is sitting pretty in second place on the log following five consecutive victories which included four matches where they claimed the full complement of points.
“Nollis has done really well and he has always had the respect of the Bulls and when we appointed him as interim coach we said we wanted to give him the opportunity,” Barend van Graan said.
“We wanted him to have the continuity and the result is there for everyone to see and the players have responded to that.”
Marais is believed to be keen on taking up the Super Rugby coaching role, and winning the Currie Cup title would certainly help him in his cause.
Barend van Graan said it was the union’s prerogative to decide whether they would select a candidate from the applicants.
“There is a process in our Human Resource policy and we will follow that process and I am comfortable that we have a solid process and we know what we are looking for,” he said.