Bloemfontein - Free State Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie has been appointed Griquas' head coach for the next three years, the Griqualand West Rugby Union said on Thursday.
The 45-year-old Fourie will replace Pote Human, who has accepted a position as head of coaching at Tukkies for 2014, from the end of the season.
Fourie will remain with the Cheetahs until the end of the Currie Cup competition before officially taking over as Griquas coach on November 1.
However, he will not relinquish his role as assistant coach of the Cheetahs Super Rugby side, and will still be actively involved in the central region team's onslaught in next year's Super Rugby competition.
He has therefore appointed South African-born Peter Engledow, who has worked for the English Rugby Football Union in the past few years, as development coach.
In Fourie's absence due to Super Rugby, Engledow will coach Griquas for next year's Vodacom Cup competition. Current defence coach Pieter Bergh will take on the roll of backline coach until the 2014 Currie Cup.
"It is a great honour for me to be appointed as Griquas' coach. I have always wanted to again be head coach at a union and now I get the chance after six years of rugby with the Cheetahs," Fourie said.
"I will still be actively involved in the Cheetahs Super Rugby campaign and will therefore trust in Peter Engledow and Pieter Bergh to take the reins in my absence.
"During the Vodacom Cup, I will, however, pop in every now and again to see how things progress."
The huge plus for Griquas with Fourie's appointment is that he has more insight into which of the Kimberley-based side's players qualify for Super Rugby based on their skill set. This means more players from the Northern Cape capital could be considered for Super Rugby next season.
"Our main goal is to make the Cheetahs Super Rugby side an even stronger unit," Fourie said.
"We've had quality players like Willie le Roux, Lourens Adriaanse, Ligtoring Landman and Ryno Barnes that have played Super Rugby for the Cheetahs this year.
"We look to get even more players from Griquas involved because it is good to have depth in certain positions."
Griquas CEO Arni van Rooyen said the union was happy with Fourie's appointment and was particularly grateful it could fill Human's position so early after the news of his departure became known.
"We are very happy that Hawies Fourie has decided to accept an offer to coach Griquas," Van Rooyen said.
"This is another positive step, not only for us, but also for the Cheetahs Super Rugby team.
"We as unions must work together to ensure that we put out the best side. That being said, we are glad that we could obtain a coach of Hawies's calibre, specially focusing on next year's Currie Cup."