Western Province have announced the signing of former Blitzboks coach Paul Treu to their backroom staff from 2015 onwards.
Treu will be joined by Rito Hlungwane and Hanyani Shimange as the union looks to bolster the Stormers and Western Province coaching team following the release of Jacques Nienaber.
The signing of Treu will be viewed as a major coup for Province, where the 43-year-old will bring with him a wealth of experience, having coached the SA Sevens team between 2004 and 2013, including leading them to the World Series title in 2009.
He was most recently involved with the Kenyan Sevens team, but relinquished his post following the PE Sevens at the weekend.
'Paul brings with him plenty of big-game experience and he will add a lot to the already successful and well-balanced coaching set-ups at Western Province,' commented WP director of rugby Gert Smal on the appointment.
'Whilst his recent coaching experience is at Sevens level, Paul has been looking to get back into fifteen-a-side coaching and this is a great opportunity to use his expertise and, at the same time, blood him back into 15s.'
Smal also lauded the appointments of young coaches Rito Hlungwani (who will serve as the U19 forwards coach) and Hanyani Shimange (who will initially consult to the Vodacom Cup team).
'The appointments of Rito and Shimmie are exciting – given that both are products [as players] of our youth system and both have been coaching at club level in the Western Cape for some time,' said Smal.
'Rito will add much-needed forward guidance at Institute and U19 level, whilst Shimmie will initially consult to the Vodacom Cup team before joining the U21 set-up too.'
However, WP will head into the new season without the services of Nienaber for the first time in seven years after they agreed to a request from Saru to release him from his current three-year deal a year early.
'Jacques has not been involved in our last two Currie Cup campaigns, due to his dual commitments with SA Rugby, so, I guess you could say we knew this day would come,' said Smal.
'I would like to thank Jacques for unyielding work ethic and incredible attention to detail – all of which will serve him well at SA Rugby and no doubt benefit the national set-up at the same time.
'The defence-coaching workload will continue to be shared between Allister Coetzee and Greg Hechter, as was the case during our last two Currie Cup campaigns, whilst, at the same time, Paul Treu will be phased into the Stormers coaching set-up and team culture during the Vodacom Super Rugby competition.'
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