PRETORIA – Southern Kings coach Deon Davids has emerged as the favourite to be unveiled as the new Bulls coach.
The 50-year-old Davids is set to meet with the powers-that-be at Loftus Versfeld on Friday as one of the short-listed coaches to take over the Super Rugby vacancy left by John Mitchell.
While the Bulls hierarchy remained tight-lipped about Davids and any other candidates on Thursday, it is no secret that Davids is well liked by incumbent Springbok boss Rassie Erasmus, who is also an influential figure in the appointment of the new Bulls coach.
Davids’ appointment is not a done deal, as he faces stiff competition for the job from incumbent Blue Bulls Currie Cup mentor and player favourite Pote Human, with former Springbok and Bulls captain Victor Matfield still an outside consideration for the job.
Human also has close links to Erasmus, having lived as neighbours in the small Eastern Cape town of Despatch, and Human being the man to have nurtured Erasmus’ rugby career from a young age.
Matfield is a fan favourite at Loftus, having led the Bulls to all three of their Super Rugby triumphs, and also served a short stint as Bulls forwards and attack coach in 2015.
“There is a process in place that we are following. Once that process is finalised, it will lead to that candidate being appointed.
“But we have a process, and we are following it,” was all that BBC High Performance manager Xander Janse Van Rensburg was willing to say at a press conference held at Loftus on Thursday.
“Rassie and his management staff will help us as we finalise our appointments, and be responsible to just oversee and facilitate the process to ensure we stay on track.”
Janse Van Rensburg did confirm that once the new coach is announced, it will be his prerogative who his assistants will be, as well as the appointments of scrum and defence coaches.
“We are in the process of finalising those appointments. Currently, the Currie Cup management staff of coach Pote Human, John-William (Meyer) and Hayden Groepes are caretakers for the squad, and will continue with their positions and work in the pre-season.”
The arrival of 37-year-old Springbok hooker Schalk Brits is all but a done deal, and Janse Van Rensburg said he expected the former Saracens and Stormers hooker to put pen to paper in the next few days.
“We are very close to finalising the contract of Schalk, and we’ll make an announcement on that I believe in the next couple of days. But it looks positive that Schalk will join us for the 2019 season.
“The whole process started with John (Mitchell), where he felt in certain key positions, we need experience. There is a formula we decided we will go about to get an experienced backbone of the squad to ensure that we create a platform for players to succeed and reach success during the competition.
“Schalk was one of the players identified, and with him the negotiations started a while back, and we are glad to get to a point where things will be finalised in due time.”
The Blue Bulls Company re also set to make an announcement on their new chief executive, with Ajee Valentine, Eugene Henning and Arni van Rooyen on the short-list of candidates.@Vata_Ngobeni