'Slaptjips' to leave Bulls early?
Pretoria - After the weekend’s upheaval at Loftus Versfeld, it is expected that Blue Bulls backline coach Pieter Rossouw will be released from his contract earlier than expected, the supersport.com website reports.
'Slaptjips' gave notice before the Bulls' fateful overseas tour a number of weeks ago, but all indications were that he would stay on until the end of the Currie Cup before returning to Cape Town with his family.
But since head coach Frans Ludeke stepped down from his roles as coach of the Super Rugby and Currie Cup sides on Saturday, the ground at Loftus Versfeld has shifted significantly.
It is expected that new coach Nollis Marais will make a number of sweeping changes to his management team ahead of the domestic competition and as Rossouw is leaving already, he will not be part of the new management.
Sources close to the side say that David Manuel, who until recently was the backline and skills coach alongside Marais with the Vodacom Cup team, will be appointed as the backline coach of the Currie Cup team.
The Bulls are set to make a number of other coaching appointments this week to accommodate Marais’ shift to Currie Cup coach, and while Rossouw also has a contract with the union, like Ludeke his future is very much up in the air.
It is likely that Rossouw will meet with the Bulls later this week to determine whether they will release him earlier than expected.
The Currie Cup side will also need a new attack coach, with Victor Matfield heading to the Springboks to finish his playing career, while defence coach Pine Pienaar will be retained until the end of the Currie Cup.
Both Matfield and Pienaar’s future will be determined by whoever takes over from Ludeke as Bulls Super Rugby coach next year.
Manuel played for the Blue Bulls for a number of years and is the ex-SA Under-19 fullback who also plied his trade with Griquas before turning to coaching, assisting with both the Tuks Varsity Cup team and the age-group Blue Bulls and Vodacom Cup teams over the past few years.
Meanwhile the new Under-21 coach is likely to be Hendre Marnitz, who was previously the junior backline and defence coach, and has coached Buccaneers in Ireland and the Indian National Rugby team in his past, while the Under-19 coach is set to be another former player in Hayden Groepes, who was until recently the technical adviser for the Under-19 team.
The Bulls are likely to confirm the changes this week so that the respective teams can start planning their domestic campaigns.
A new Super Rugby coach is likely only to be announced in a few weeks.