Coaches lining up to replace Jones at Stormers

WP Director of Rugby Gert Smal

Eddie Jones’s departure as Stormers Super Rugby coach has led to several coaches applying for the position according to Western Province’s Director of Rugby Gert Smal.

Jones was appointed as the new England head coach on Friday after being in his position with the Stormers for just two weeks.

Smal confirmed Jones’s departure and said that after the rumours gained momentum earlier this week the Union have received several expressions of interest.

The WP Director of Rugby would not confirm any names of the applicants while WP Rugby Union president Thelo Wakefield who said it would be “unethical” to mention the names of coaches who have applied.

“It is also not fair to mention the names of those that Gert (Smal) might be targeting. It would be unethical to mention names that have applied. I have seen names being bandied about in the media, but I cannot comment on speculation,” said Wakefield.

A fraction of good news came out of Thursday’s conference. Smal reported that Jones will arrive in Cape Town in early December to offer his input to the Stormers with planning for the new season. Jones made the gesture to assist without prompting from the Stormers.

“Eddie felt bad about leaving in such a hurry, but it was an opportunity that he couldn’t turn down and we accept that. As a result, he has offered to come out in December to sit down with the coaches and help plan ahead. He has said that he wants to see that we go forward properly,” said Smal.

“It will be nice to have him as a sounding board, now and even in the future.”

Smal said the Stormers were looking for a coach that could bring a fresh approach and one that has made his mark in international rugby, adding “ideally someone with at least six years of Super Rugby experience”.

Smal will be filling in the role of stand-in coach for now and WP Under-21 coach Robbie Fleck will be co-ordinating the coaching functions during the off-season.

The New Zealand-born coaches John Mitchell and John Plumtree have been mentioned as the leading candidates to replace Jones

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