Mallett: Matfield not ready to coach Bulls

    2015-06-15 06:57

    Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett believes Victor Matfield is not ready to step into the head coaching role at the Bulls.

    Mallett was speaking in the SuperSport studio after the Bulls went down 42-29 at home to the Cheetahs in their final 2015 Super Rugby game on Saturday.

    Frans Ludeke afterwards announced his decision to step down as head coach of the Bulls, with Nollis Marais appointed as Currie Cup coach for the 2015 season.

    The union announced that a process to appoint a new head coach for Super Rugby was ongoing.

    There were earlier rumours that Matfield would take the head coaching reins after he retires from the game later this year.

    However, Mallett believes Matfield is not yet ready for the top job at the Bulls.

    “Victor Matfield has got coaching ambitions, but it should be as an assistant, or perhaps in the Varsity Cup where he can learn his way,” said Mallett.

    “There seems to be a trend now that players want to get straight from the playing field into the coaching box. (Former England captain) Martin Johnson tried it. He was a highly respected player who'd had a fantastic career and it didn't work out at all well for him (as a coach).

    "A coach requires certain personality traits and the more mature you are, the better you get. When you finish as a player you need to go through a club, or a Varsity Cup side (as a coach), then you get to a situation in your mid-40s when you can take a (top) team.”

    Mallett also praised Ludeke for taking the decision to step down.

    “I think Frans has done the honourable thing and the correct thing. He was under a lot of pressure after the first two or three games of the season, and there was a lot of talk that the (Bulls) board had lost patience with him and that they wanted to make early changes.

    "I think the board was correct to allow him to fulfil his contract for this Super Rugby campaign, but it hasn't been successful enough as far as the Bulls are concerned. The franchise is a wealthy one, they've won the competition on three occasions and they expect to make the playoffs every year. It will be very interesting to see where they go from here and who they appoint to the Super Rugby coaching position.”

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