Franco Smith will leave his post as Springbok assistant coach and return to the Cheetahs in a full-time capacity.
Smith effectively replaces Rory Duncan, who will join the Worcester Warriors at the end of the European season, as Cheetahs head coach.
The 45-year-old decided not to accept an offer from SA Rugby to stay on as part of the Bok coaching staff, under new director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.
Erasmus apparently wanted Smith to move to Cape Town, where SA Rugby is based, but Smith’s family is settled in Bloemfontein.
‘Free State Rugby had long interviews and discussions about the situation and the process was completed in good spirit,’ said Cheetahs MD Harold Verster.
‘Free State Rugby is excited and thankful that Franco made the decision to stay. His rugby expertise and coaching ability is invaluable to the Cheetahs.’
Smith became Cheetahs coach in 2015 before joining the Boks at the end of 2016 and performing a part-time role for the Cheetahs as director of rugby.
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