Stonehouse off to Japan

The Pumas have confirmed that Jimmy Stonehouse has resigned as their head coach to take up a role in Japan.

Stonehouse, who has spent the past seven seasons with the Pumas, has accepted a lucrative offer with the Toshiba Brave Lupus and will start work at his new club on 15 April.

One of the brightest coaching prospects in South Africa, the news will not only come as a blow to the Nelspruit-based union but South African rugby as a whole, with Stonehouse signing an expected three-year deal with the club.

Stonehouse was named SA Coach of the Year in 2013 after leading the Pumas to the Currie Cup First Division title, before continuing his impressive work in the Premier Division as the Pumas finished sixth overall, claiming four wins from their 10 matches.

The Brave Lupus finished as runners-up in last season's Top League and have players like Springbok centre Frans Steyn, former All Blacks utility back Richard Kahui and ex-Wallabies wing Cooper Vuna in their current squad.

Current assistant coach MJ Mentz will take over in the interim as the Pumas continue their preparations for the Vodacom Cup.

More to follow…

Photo: Marnus van Wyk/Gallo Images