Franco Smith will vacate his position as Cheetahs head coach at the end of the year to take over as Italy boss.
Smith’s departure after the 2019 Currie Cup campaign was confirmed by the Cheetahs on Tuesday.
‘Franco will remain in the position as head coach for the duration of the Currie Cup, while the new coach will take over the reins for the Pro14 season later in September,’ the Cheetahs said in a statement.
‘In order to ensure a smooth transition, the new coach will be part of the coaching structures during Currie Cup to experience the culture. Franco will also stay in the fold as director of rugby until the end of November 2019.’
‘Franco was offered the opportunity to coach the Italian national side from 1 January 2020, and the board of directors see this as a great opportunity for him. We are proud of and wish Franco the best of luck with the opportunity to coach on an international level until the next world cup in 2023.’
The Free State Rugby Union has started with the process of looking for a new coach by assigning a panel – consisting of the relevant role players – that’ll be responsible for the appointment of the best candidate in the position.
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