Bloemfontein - The Free State Cheetahs will tackle this year's Currie Cup competition under a new head coach, the Free State Rugby Union said on Thursday.
Super Rugby coach Naka Drotské hands over the reins for the coming domestic competition to the coach of this year's Free State Vodacom Cup side, Rory Duncan.
Drotské, who would be heading off to the UK to expand his coaching knowledge abroad, remained the head coach for the Cheetahs Super Rugby campaign next year. Griquas coach Hawies Fourie and former Springbok prop Os du Randt would be his assistants for the 2015 competition.
Pressure had been mounting on the Bloemfontein-based franchise to come forward with new ideas to better their performances after a disappointing bottom-place finish in the 2014 competition.
“Naka Drotské will, in the coming month, in conjunction with our sponsors, travel abroad to visit many overseas clubs,” the FSRU said in a statement.
“The negotiations for this move are already in an advanced stage. He will also give attention to a working agreement that is in place with Uganda Rugby and at the same time put effort into the current contracting system and any flaws that may have crept into the said model.”
Du Randt and another former Springbok, Franco Smith, will act as assistants for Duncan during the Currie Cup.
The 36-year-old Duncan was captain of the Free State side which won the Currie Cup competition back in 2007 and had coached the first team of renowned rugby school Grey College in 2012 and 2013.
Under his guidance, the Free State Vodacom Cup side progressed to the knock out stages of this year's competition.
Smith's resume included acting as technical advisor and back line coach for the Free State Currie Cup side in 2005 and 2006, respectively, as well as coaching Italian club side Treviso before his return to South Africa. His brother and former Free State fly half, MJ Smith, would take over Duncan's duties as Free State under-21 coach.