Pretoria - John Mitchell has taken over as the Blue Bulls’ Currie Cup coach, with Nollis Marais granted leave for the remainder of the 2017 season.
This was confirmed by the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd on Sunday evening.
Barend van Graan, CEO of the Blue Bulls Company, explained via a press statement that this action is “merely the next step in the turnaround strategy”.
Mitchell was recently appointed as the Bulls’ executive of rugby and the franchise’s Super Rugby coach, but Marais was to continue as Currie Cup coach.
However, the Blue Bulls have lost their last three Currie Cup games - which prompted the union to make a change.
“We are working hard to ensure the sustainable and long-term success of the Bulls and Blue Bulls, as we continue striving towards achieving success and restoring trust and faith in our brand,” said Van Graan.
"I believe this step furthermore grants us the opportunity to cross pollinate within our structures, ensuring what coaches have learnt whilst being involved at senior rugby levels is transferred throughout the entire system and structure, thus benefiting at all levels. We urge our supporters and fans to rally behind the team by coming out and showing their support."
The Blue Bulls Company confirmed the following management teams for the remainder of the 2017 season:
- Head coach, Attack, Exits: John Mitchell
- Skills and Kicking: Hayden Groepes
- Lineouts: Pote Human
- Scrums: Gary Botha
- Defence (All teams, junior and senior): Pine Pienaar
- Strength and Conditioning: Jacus Coetzee (Head Weekly Tactical Periodisation (WTP) and Rehab), Ghafoer Luckan (Senior Strength and Conditioning assistant)
- Head coach: David Manuel
- Backline coach: Bevin Fortuin
- Forward coach: Anton Leonard
- Strength and Conditioning: Shaun du Toit
- Head coach and Backline: Dewey Swartbooi
- Forward coach: Denzil Frans
- Strength and Conditioning: Henri-Charl Terblanche, Yusuf Vahed (Junior Strength and Conditioning assistant)
- Junior teams kicking, all teams’ PR and Administration: Divan Strydom