Former Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse, one of the country’s most undervalued coaches, is rumoured to have thrown his name into the hat for vacant coaching positions at the Sharks, Bulls and Southern Kings.
Four of South Africa’s franchises will be looking to fill their vacant head coach positions before the start of the revamped and extended Super Rugby tournament in 2016.
Stonehouse took up a coaching job with Japanese club Toshiba Brave Lupus earlier this year after he declined two previous offers from abroad with the hope of landing a job with a South African franchise.
The Bulls head coach position opened up over the weekend when Frans Ludeke resigned after eight years in charge of South Africa’s most successful Super Rugby franchise.
The Kings put out feelers to Lions assistant coach Swys de Bruin, who has been an integral part of the Johannesburg side’s resurrection from Super Rugby outcasts to finishing as the second-best team in the South African franchise this season.
However, De Bruin declined citing unfinished business with the Lions which left the Kings coaching position in limbo.
Both the Sharks and the Stormers are also looking to fill their vacant head coach positions with new Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold confirming he would not fulfill the coaching role any longer, and the Capetonians looking for a replacement for Allister Coetzee, who is Japan-bound.
Stonehouse has a proven track record and was named the SA Rugby Union’s Coach of the Year award in 2013 after the Pumas were promoted to the Currie Cup Premier Division following their unbeaten run in the First Division competition.
The 51-year-old Stonehouse is believed to be among the favourites to take the reins of the Kings when they make their return to Super Rugby.
The Southern Kings’ coaching stocks have been depleted since Director of Rugby Alan Solomons left to coach Edinburgh in 2013 and head coach Matt Sexton returned to New Zealand at the end of that year.
Ockert de Villiers – Sport24