A rank outsider has become the favourite to take over from Zola Yeye as manager of the Springbok rugby team.
Liston Ntshongwana, a prominent businessman and former diplomat, seems to be the man for the job.
Hennie Brandt of Beeld reports that Jannie Ferreira and other members of the committee charged with appointing the national coach and his support team, met in Cape Town on Wednesday to finalise a number of positions.
The committee and Ntshongwana discussed the manager’s position, which will be a more ceremonial one than it used to be.
“The Springbok coach’s support team will be announced on Friday,” Ferreira said after the meeting.
Yeye and former SA team managers Gideon Sam and Artrob Petersen were among the early candidates but Yeye and Sam withdrew from the race.
Ntshongwana has the right credentials for the job. He is a former player and also received training to become an ambassador.
And diplomacy seemed to be lacking in the support team during the time that Jake White coached the Springboks.
Dick Muir and Gary Gold will be formally announced as Peter de Villiers’s assistant coaches on Friday. Gold has already signed his contract.
Former Springbok centre Muir, who now coaches the Sharks in the Super 14 competition, will sign his contract when the squad return from Australasia.
Peter Maimane, a former Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup player, will be named as De Villiers’s technical analyst. He is now team manager of the Lions.
The 36-year-old Maimane held a similar position with the Bulls when Rudi Joubert coached the team in the Super 12 competition and has also served as technical analyst in the Lions squad.
“I could not run like a wing, so I played as a prop forward,” he said in a telephone call from Canberra on Wednesday.
“I played on the tighthead side at first but then moved to loosehead,” he said, exited about the prospect of being part of the Springbok set-up.
“I accepted the offer last week to become technical analyst. Peter de Villiers initially offered me the position of team manager or logistics manager.
“For several reasons, I was unavailable for those. When he asked whether I would be interested in a job as technical analyst, I jumped at the opportunity.
“I never thought that I would become involved with the Springboks. It’s certainly a great honour,” he added.Tweet