Rudolf Straeuli dismissed the possibility of a return to coaching, but has revealed that the Lions’ coaching ranks will be restructured before the start of the United Rugby Championship.
The Lions have been struggling for form as of late and are currently chained to the foot of the 2021 Currie Cup standings after winning just two of 11 matches.
The team’s poor on-field returns have put the spotlight on coach Ivan van Rooyen and his inability to instil confidence in the players and to take the squad forward.
Earlier in the week, a report surfaced claiming that a coaching reshuffle at the Lions was imminent. It was rumoured that Van Rooyen could be sacked and that the union’s CEO, Straeuli, would take over in what would’ve been a shock return to coaching for the 57-year-old former Springbok coach.
Addressing the speculation, Straeuli effectively ruled himself out of contention for any potential coaching vacancy within the union, but admitted that a restructuring process – necessitated by the demands that will come with playing in the PRO16 URC – is underway at the Lions.
“I will hopefully be able to confirm those changes in due course,” Straeuli commented.
“The Currie Cup competition [which runs to its conclusion early next month] will restart in January – while the URC is still ongoing. It is impractical to have one set of coaches running teams for two competitions,” he added.
On his part, Van Rooyen admitted that his future at the union is unclear at this stage.
“We are all entering negotiation stages. Those decisions and discussions are taking place at a higher level.”
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