Former Springbok Sevens and Cats coach Chester Williams has been appointed as the head coach of the Pumas, starting next month.
Williams, who missed out on the Springbok coaching job that went to Jake White, will take up his position as of 1 October 2006 and has signed a two year contract with the Pumas.
Nico Swartz, CEO of the Pumas, says the union went through a lengthy selection process that included many interviews with a selective panel. “The presentation that Chester made to the directors was very impressive and he accepted the offer we made to him,” said Swartz.
Williams boasts an impressive playing career spanning ten years of which he represented South Africa in 27 Tests. In an illustrious Springbok career he crossed the goal line 14 times and will probably be remembered best for the four tries he scored in the quarter-final World Cup match against Western Samoa at Ellis Park in 1995.
Williams has donned the Cats jersey 20 times (seven tries) and the Lions jersey 23 times (11 tries) while he represented Western Province 62 times, scoring 39 tries and kicking one drop goal.
His coaching career is just as impressive. After retiring from the game, Williams took over as the Bok Sevens coach. He also had stints with Boland, the Cats and more recently in Uganda. He has been manager to the SA Sevens team to the World Games in Japan in 2001 and was technical adviser to Rudolf Straueli at the beginning of his tenure as coach.
“We are very excited about the future of Puma rugby under the coaching of Chester Williams,” said Swartz.