Vodacom Bulls director of rugby Jake White has explained why it is unlikely that legends such as Fourie du Preez will return to the union in a coaching capacity.
After White was appointed as the Bulls’ director of rugby back in March, there were rumours that former captains Du Preez and Victor Matfield would return to Loftus Versfeld to boost the team’s coaching staff.
Former Springbok scrumhalf Du Preez is rightfully regarded as one of the brightest rugby players of his generation, winning just about every trophy there is for a southern hemisphere player to win.
Meanwhile, Matfield has already dipped his toes into the coaching life, having served as a lineout specialist at the Bulls in 2013 and the Lions in 2017.
However, White, who has already confirmed his senior and junior coaching staff for the next season of rugby, poured cold water on any suggestion that former players could return to the Bulls on the basis of their legendary status, adding that players would need to have a genuine desire to go into coaching on a full time basis if they want to be involved.
‘It’s interesting, I have known a lof of Bulls players. There are many Bulls players who would love to be involved here, I am sure,’ White said in his regular No Holds Barred series on the Bulls’ app.
‘I have had a chat with Fourie and he is not interested in coaching at all. I think the one thing that comes across there is we would need those players to be involved positively.
‘I think there would need to be players who want to be involved full-time. The days of having a succession plan or continuity at the Bulls where you bring someone in from outside who is not coaching are long gone.
‘I think everyone has learned that part of the plan of being the director of rugby here and part of the board are saying that we need to have a proper succession plan. The Bulls have shown in the last couple of years, going from being champions of [Vodacom] Super Rugby for many years, dominating domestic rugby and then becoming a normal, average rugby team when they have lost their good players.
‘So it is part of what we are discussing, but I would say, looking at individuals, they would have be involved at coaching on the ground serving their time, if they are going to be part of the succession plan going forward.’
Photo: Lee Warren / Gallo Images