CAPE TOWN - The Western Province Rugby Union have appointed an independent investigator to probe the Stormers’ management team issue surrounding assistant coach Paul Treu.
It was learnt this week that Treu had submitted a 26-page document detailing his grievances to the board. It is understood that the document contains instances of unfair treatment that Treu believes he was subjected to, and that the matter has since been discussed by the board.
Earlier this season, Treu - who headed the Stormers’ structured attack and defence - walked out of a review meeting as he felt that he was being sidelined by head coach Robbie Fleck and fellow assistant coach Paul Feeney.
Following the incident back in July, a further subplot was added to what is usually standard protocol at the end of a Super Rugby campaign when WPRU president Thelo Wakefield, director of rugby Gert Smal and chief executive Paul Zacks met with the coaching staff to address the management issues.
One of the objectives of the meeting was to address and find solutions to the matter. And following the meeting, Wakefield said in a statement that the management issue had been addressed in a “fruitful and amicable” manner and that there would be further meetings over the following weeks between the parties concerned, while also stating that the issue had been over amplified by the media.
It is still unclear when the investigation will conclude. But it will require speedy action seeing that the Stormers - who endured a torrid 2018 season (their worst-ever Super 15 campaign) will kick off their pre-season preparations in November.
The Treu incident is playing out against the backdrop of a turbulent year for the Union. Besides the poor performances on the field, the Union has had to fend off various reports of financial difficulties. The possible selling of Newlands and a much-talked about move to Cape Town Stadium has further complicated matters.
Treu is currently also the assistant coach of the Western Province Under-21 side. But his future role with the Stormers will only be clear once the investigation is complete. Neither Treu nor Wakefield were willing to comment.
In yet another unresolved issue, the Stormers are also yet to appoint a replacement strength and conditioning coach following the departure of the long-serving Stephan du Toit.