Nick Mallett may be the director of rugby at Western Province, but the decision to appoint Kobus van der Merwe as Stormers coach wasn’t his alone.
In an interview with SA Rugby magazine in December last year, Mallett explained the process.
“It wasn’t my decision to appoint Kobus as Super 14 coach,” he said. “Evey decision that is taken regarding the Stormers is made by a committee, which includes the executive and the amateur arm of the union. Boland also had a proposal they presented to the committee meeting. Kobus was appointed as coach, a decision I agreed with. It wasn’t a dictatorial decision made by me.”
It’s also interesting to reflect on the comments made by Van der Merwe, in the same issue of the magazine.
“It’s a great draw,” said the coach of the Super 14. “It’s crucial that we win our home games and get off to a good start. If we win our home games then we won’t need three or four wins overseas.”
When discussing the Stormers’ tour matches, he said: “The Reds have struggled over the last couple of years so that is a game we will definitely target, while the Chiefs are beatable wherever you play them.”
Four months later, and it’s the Chiefs who would start as favourites against Fester’s men, no matter where in the world the game took place.