“We want the new coach in place by the end of year,” said Alexander, about the now vacant position of the 2019 Rugby World Cup champions. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Springbok rugby fans should know by the end of the year who the next national head coach will be.

This was confirmed by the president of SA Rugby, Mark Alexander on Thursday evening, at the launch of the 2020 Super Rugby competition.

“We want the new coach in place by the end of year,” said Alexander, about the now vacant position of the 2019 Rugby World Cup champions.

“We’re just waiting for the coach’s report and then Rassie Erasmus (the former coach and full-time Director of Rugby) will come to us with a proposal, which we’ll take to the executive and then take to the general council for approval,” said Alexander.

“We of course want there to be continuity in the job. We want to start 2020 with the new coach in place.”

Erasmus, who led the Boks to Rugby World Cup glory earlier this month as a care-taker coach since getting the Director of Rugby job 18 months ago, will not continue in a full-time coaching role next year.

It is expected that someone from within the current management team, possibly defence guru Jacques Nienaber, will take over the head coaching role. The name of Deon Davids, a former Kings coach, has also been mentioned.

Meanwhile, Alexander on Thursday also spoke about the reason for moving the popular pre-season Marvel-inspired Super Sunday clashes between the four local franchises from Cape Town to Joburg. On January 19 the Sharks and Stormers and the Bulls and Lions will meet each other in their changed Marvel-themed jerseys at the FNB Stadium following last year’s first and sold-out event at the Cape Town Stadium.

“We want all those people (from Soweto) who came out onto the streets (for the Boks’ World Cup trophy tour) to start supporting rugby ... We want them in the stadiums. If we don’t do that, if we don’t attract 80% of the population, SA Rugby won’t be around in 2030,” said Alexander.

“We’ve got an aging white community, we’ve got an aging coloured community, so we need to target that market, and make sure we attract them to South African rugby.”

Alexander added he hoped the Boks’ win in Japan recently would translate to more people, generally, attending Super Rugby games next year. “The (low) numbers in the grounds is a concern ... it’s a concern internationally. We know people consume sport differently nowadays, but we’re busy working on a few things that we hope will attract the fans again. Hopefully, the Boks’ winning of the World Cup will also bring the fans back.”

@jacq_west


IOL Sport

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