Cape Town – The Western Province Rugby Union reportedly has no plans to get rid of Gert Smal as its director of rugby, while proposed top jobs for Paul Treu and Peter de Villiers also appear unlikely.
According to Netwerk24, this is the feedback the union’s senior players received from player organisation MyPlayers.
The players wanted clarity on the future proposed coaching structure at the union.
Recent reports indicated that the union’s amateur arm was eager to replace Smal with Treu and wanted De Villiers, a former Springbok coach currently in charge of Zimbabwe, to become the head coach of the Stormers.
But these changes are unlikely, the Afrikaans website reported although Eugene Henning, the managing director of MyPlayers, was reluctant to confirm the communication with the players.
Smal’s contract with WP Rugby expires in October and it appears he may already have plans to move on, with local Sunday newspaper Rapport reporting over the weekend that he could leave the Cape union and join Jake White’s Toyota Verblitz club in Japan.
Smal was White’s assistant coach at the Springboks between 2004 and 2007. The 57-year-old was Ireland’s forwards coach between 2008 and 2013, before joining WP Rugby as director of rugby in 2014.
Meanwhile, the Stormers are yet to confirm their coaching staff for this year’s Super Rugby competition, with assistant coach Treu’s role in particular unclear. He was the subject of much controversy towards the end of 2018 when he accused the Stormers coaching staff, led by head coach Robbie Fleck, of discrimination.
An independent review cleared Fleck and the management team of any wrongdoing, but it seems now that the relationship between Treu and his colleagues has soured.