Mbombela - Despite the absence of a head coach, following Jimmy Stonehouse's departure for Japan, the remainder of the technical team would stay in place for the upcoming Vodacom Cup season, Mpumalanga Rugby said in a statement on Thursday.
"All of them were instrumental in the team's success over the last three years and why change a winning combination for the sake of change?" managing director Pieter Burger said.
"We believe in their skill and confidence to continue the hard work that has been put into the team to date and therefore the Jimmy Stonehouse legacy will continue and be built upon.”
Backline coach MJ Mentz would fulfil the role as the central communications organiser, assisted by conditioning and forwards coach Corné Steenkamp and team manager Marius van Rensburg.
Physiologist Luzahn Louw, team doctor Kobus Hugo and biokineticist Harry Wiltshire were also retained.
Burger said the board had been flooded with CVs from all over the country, but like any other managerial appointment in a company, the correct procedures would be followed and each candidate evaluated accordingly.
Two warm-up matches
“This coaching team has done an amazing job the last couple of years and we can't see why they shouldn't be given a chance to prove themselves yet again. It's a young, motivated team, with the backing and respect of both the players and management and we look forward to the season ahead,” Burger said.
The Pumas travel to Pretoria on 14 February to play the Blue Bulls in the first of two warm-up matches. They then travel to Potchefstroom to face the Leopards before the Vodacom Cup gets under way early in March.