Phil Pretorius will not coach the South Western District Eagles in 2009.
Pretorius was informed on Wednesday that he would be replaced by former Eagles coach Johan Lerm.
On Saturday, against the Leopards at Outeniqua Park in George, Pretrorius will coach the Eagles for the 100th time. It will also be his 250th time as coach in charge of a first-class team.
Pretorius, however, refused to comment on his “sacking.”
“We have a very important match on Saturday and I would like to devote all my attention to that,” he said bluntly.
Meanwhile, a source close to the SWD Rugby Union said “at least 13 top players are ready to leave with Pretorius. If he goes to another union they will leave with him. That is how much respect the players have for Pretorius”.
News 24 reports that several club officials also regretted the union’s decision.
Ricardo Beukes, who was Pretorius’ assistant coach in 2007, said it was the biggest mistake the union has made in its entire history.
“Phil has built the team up to almost Currie Cup level – and now he gets a kick in the face. I just can’t believe it.
“I have nothing against the new coach. It is just a matter of principle how things are being done in the SWD.
“How on earth was it possible that Phil was the very last person in the union to hear his fate?” Beukes asked.
As the unhappiness about Pretorius’s sacking is starting to snowball, the coach vowed “to give his very best until the last day of October” when his contract expires.Tweet