WP deny axing rumours

Western Province have denied reports that director of rugby Nick Mallett, coach Kobus van der Merwe and technical director Gary Gold will be fired this week.

WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd managing director Rob Wagner told the Cape Times: “I’m sick and tired of rumours. It’s becoming ludicrous and childish. I don’t know where these things are coming from.

“We are busy with an evaluation and once we have done that we will find out where the system needs to be tweaked.”

The speculation about the coaches’ positions surfaced following feedback from players.

One Cape Times source described the feedback about Stormers management as “scathing”.

Rugby365 reported yesterday that the matter would come to a head at a WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd board meeting tomorrow.

However, WP Rugby Football Union chief executive Theuns Roodman and WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd board member Johan Cronjé denied any meeting had been scheduled for this week.

“There won’t be a board meeting and not one of them is going to be sacked,” Cronjé told the Cape Times. “We have structures in place whereby there are evaluations biannually after the Super 14 and Currie Cup. We’re busy with an evaluation and that has not been finalised. We should not be hasty.

“It will take a lot to convince me that sacking the coaches is the solution. There is not one of them that I would like to see leave. I think we may be able to achieve what we want with the same coaches. The Super 14 was an adjustment for them to a higher level.”