Search on for Ludeke's replacement
Ockert de Villiers - Sport24
Johannesburg - Bulls chief
executive Barend van Graan suggested it would be a difficult to find
a replacement for Frans Ludeke after the surprise announcement on Saturday
evening that he would step down as Super Rugby and Currie Cup coach with
Ludeke’s eight-year tenure as the
Bulls mentor came to a disappointing end with his side suffering a 42-29 defeat
at the hands of the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld in their final Super Rugby
match of the season.
The 47-year-old coached the Bulls
to two consecutive Super Rugby titles in 2009 and 2010 while he also won the
2009 Currie Cup title with the team.
“If you see how much some of our
competitors are struggling to find a coach it is not a one-way search to
identify the right guy and appoint him,” Van Graan said.
“We will take our time and try
and resolve that as soon as possible. We did not inform the players before the
match. We wanted them to have a clear mind going into the match.
"After the match Frans
informed the players and the coaching staff in the changing room and he requested
not to be here tonight.”
Van Graan said discussions will
Ludeke about his future are ongoing as well as the process to appoint a new head
coach for Super Rugby 2016 and an announcement would be made as soon as this
has been finalised.
“About his future I would like to
say it is an ongoing process and we will not make an announcement tonight,” he
“There are a number of coaching
changes that will happen in the next few days. We’ve worked on that over the
Van Graan also announced on
Saturday that Blue Bulls Under-21 and Vodacom Cup coach Nollis Marais will take
charge in this year’s Currie Cup.
“We would like to thank Frans for the efforts over the past eight years, we
appointed him on December 4, 2007 and the first five matches we lost and we took 50 points against the Hurricanes before the team turned around the
season and the rest is history,” Van Graan said.
“We’ve got quite a lot of respect
for his integrity, his commitment, dedication that he has put into the Bulls and Blue Bulls.”
Before Saturday’s announcement of
his resignation it was believed Ludeke would be promoted to Director of Rugby.
While there was no indication for
Ludeke’s decision to step down with a year still left on his contract, Van
Graan said pressures from outside had played a role in what transpired.
“I must credit Frans for the fact
that he conveyed the news to the team himself and the manner in which he did
that speaks of what we all know about him,” Van Graan said.