Cape Town – Stormers coach Allister Coetzee informed his players on Monday that he would be leaving the Cape side to join Japanese club Kobe Steelers at the end of the Super Rugby season.
The Cape Times has been reliably informed that Coetzee addressed the players at a meeting at their Bellville training headquarters on Monday to reveal his future plans. It is expected that Stormers director of rugby Gert Smal will make a formal announcement in this regard at a press conference in Bellville on Tuesday.
Coetzee visited Kobe in early December, but last Friday, following the Stormers’ 39-31 victory over the Cheetahs at Newlands, he denied that he had signed a contract with any team, including the Stormers.
And forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot may be Coetzee’s right-hand man in Japan. It is understood that Proudfoot could also get an early release from his Stormers contract to become Kobe’s forwards coach, as the former Scotland Test prop is set to be overlooked for the Western Province head-coaching job for this year’s Currie Cup.
Former Wallaby coach Eddie Jones is in line to take over from Coetzee as Stormers coach next year. It is believed that WP spoke to Jones last week while he was in Cape Town about coaching the Stormers next year, and those negotiations are still ongoing.
Jones is the Japan national team coach until the end of the Rugby World Cup later this year, when his contract expires. The Cape Times understands that he has been offered a multi-year contract to become the Stormers coach from 2016.
WP Vodacom Cup mentor John Dobson is set to be named as the WP Currie Cup coach, with his current assistant Dawie Snyman likely to also get a promotion to the senior side in the same capacity.
That would mean an entirely new coaching structure for the WP team, as Paul Treu will be part of a Currie Cup management team for the first time after joining the province in December, and he is apparently in charge of the defensive duties following the departure of Jacques Nienaber to Saru late last year.
Current Stormers backline coach Robbie Fleck, meanwhile, is set to become a head coach at WP for the first time as he will take charge of the Under-21 side, and he could also take over Dobson’s other position as Vodacom Cup head coach next year.
It would be a demotion of sorts for Fleck, as he has been part of the WP set-up since 2009 as the backline coach. But perhaps it would be a good opportunity for him to forge a career as a head coach, as he was also the assistant coach to Dobson at UCT before getting the WP gig.
All these imminent appointments would seem to fit in with Smal’s philosophy of “challenging the statistics which show that teams who kick the most and concede the most penalties are the teams who win”, as he told the Cape Times last year ahead of the Currie Cup final.
Jones is renowned for his positive outlook, and was brought in as a consultant to the Bok squad for the 2007 World Cup to spruce up their attacking play, and he was commended by a number of players afterwards for his contribution to the title-winning campaign.
Similarly, Dobson has long been a staunch advocate of attacking rugby, and has the trophies to show for it too as WP have clinched Vodacom Cup and Under-21 titles under his watch in recent years.