Knuckles applies for Griquas job

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Other SA Teams on 11 Jan 2011 at 22:23
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Sharksworld has been reliably informed that former Wallaby coach John “Knuckles” Connolly has applied for the head coaching role at Griquas that will be vacated by Dawie Theron when he becomes SA Under 20 coach later this year.

The 59-year-old Connolly first rose to prominence as coach of the virtually unstoppable Queensland side that captured a pair of back-to-back Super 10 titles in the mid 1990s. He coached the Reds in the first three years of the Super 12 competition, back when they were still a formidable outfit who regularly made the semi finals, before moving on to Stade Francais in Paris, who he lead to a national title as well as two Heineken Cup finals. A stint at Swansea in Wales was then followed by a successful tenure as head coach for Bath.

Connolly returned to his native Australia in 2006 to take up the Wallaby coaching job, which he held until the end of the 2007 World Cup, when he was replaced by Robbie Deans.

It’s not at this stage clear who else has applied for the Griquas job – we believe that Nico Serfontein, who has just been snapped up by the Lions, was also keen to apply. It would be absolutely astounding, though, if there were to be any other candidates with Knuckles’s pedigree, though. If I were Griquas, I’d be biting his arm off!


  • go knuckles. he must be desperate…

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.01.11 00:33:36 by Megatron Reply
    MegatronSuper Rugby player
  • Could be great for the Griquas to get Connolly onboard, the talent pool might be a bit small though.

  • Comment 2, posted at 12.01.11 07:34:31 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • So of the 6 top teams in the Currie Cup, 3 off them will have NZ/Aus coaches.

    Is that such a good thing in big scheme of things? Where are all the SA coaches?

  • Comment 3, posted at 12.01.11 08:08:38 by Richard Ferguson (KCM) Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard FergusonCoach
  • Connolly would be a massive asset to Griquas! :smile:

  • Comment 4, posted at 12.01.11 11:57:20 by RealDirtyShark Reply

  • @RealDirtyShark (Comment 4) :

    Welcome to the site!

  • Comment 5, posted at 12.01.11 12:01:05 by Richard Ferguson (KCM) Reply
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    Richard FergusonCoach
  • @RealDirtyShark (Comment 4) : jeez – you’re not wrong about that. I tell you what, with a coach like that and a few more big names, Griquas could be a dark horse for the Currie Cup this year.

    Welcome to the site, BTW. Glad to have you here.

  • Comment 6, posted at 12.01.11 12:12:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • I cant believe this thread is not getting more airplay

  • Comment 7, posted at 12.01.11 12:19:16 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 7) : where has knuckles been for the last 2 years? I reckon people have forgotten about what an awesome coach he is…

  • Comment 8, posted at 12.01.11 12:33:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : I would be seriously stoked for the Kwasse if they nail this one down but what did this guy do to fall so far from grace.Very similar to whats happening with Kaplan, I’m half expecting Johno to be reffing on the 7s circuit soon.

  • Comment 9, posted at 12.01.11 12:36:03 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
  • He might just be what they needed. Afterall they are not a bad team, but just seem to lack that extra bit to get them to the play-offs. He might very well be that extra “bit”.

  • Comment 10, posted at 12.01.11 12:44:25 by Farlington Reply

    FarlingtonSuper Rugby player
  • @RealDirtyShark (Comment 4) : welcome :mrgreen:

  • Comment 11, posted at 12.01.11 12:48:09 by chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
  • @Farlington (Comment 10) : Actually, these buggers have a habit of beating WP at least once a year, stay away Knuckles :twisted:

  • Comment 12, posted at 12.01.11 12:48:29 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
  • don’t really know Knukkles but if is is a good coach like everyone is saying then the competition is on and the Sharks team is ready :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 12.01.11 12:54:39 by chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 9) : he lost the Wobblies job after they went out in the quarters in ’07. He then sued the union… Might explain his subsequent lack of opportunities in the Aussie market…

  • Comment 14, posted at 12.01.11 13:01:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • The New Zealanders have often said SA is teeming with talent but lacking in coaching ability and I tend to agree. Three overseas coaches bring 3 new perspectives on the game which we did not have before. Look what John Mitchell has already done for the Lions with no new players. (looks like he’ll have to continue the miraclework as they havent managed to buy much with all the money in Africa!)

  • Comment 15, posted at 12.01.11 14:13:14 by Caratacus Reply

    CaratacusCurrie Cup player
  • Thanks for the welcome gents! Connolly has coached everywhere and won trophies. Apparently his coaching manual was the key to Mallets success at Stade Francais.

    He was in charge when the Wobblies smashed the Boks 46-0 (think that was the score).

    Connolly is real rugby man.

  • Comment 16, posted at 12.01.11 15:22:22 by RealDirtyShark Reply

  • Point is he’ll get the best out of the Griquas I reckon. With a diluted Currie Cup because the Boks are away GW will be real title contenders. They have also recruited pretty well. Going to be a interesting Currie Cup. Griquas won’t get many chances to win the CC after this year.

  • Comment 17, posted at 12.01.11 15:24:58 by RealDirtyShark Reply

  • I’d bet my bottom dollar on Connolly being the catalyst that finally boots the Griquas up to the semi finals and maybe finals in CC. With that in mind – where do they go to get into Supe :???: r rugby?

  • Comment 18, posted at 12.01.11 15:26:31 by Caratacus Reply

    CaratacusCurrie Cup player
  • @RealDirtyShark (Comment 17) : can you share any news re new signings at Griquas?

  • Comment 19, posted at 12.01.11 15:30:04 by robdylan Reply
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    robdylanHead Coach
  • They signed Justin Downey, Fabian Juries, Martin Muller, Earl Rose, Matthew Dobson, Liam Slatem, Jean Stemmet, Lourens Adriaanse and one or two others. The also kept Hendrik Roodt, Naas Olivier , Steph Roberts, Sarel Potgieter, Riaan Viljoen and Barry Geel. Wesley Wilkins and Leon Karemaker were very good loosies but struggled with injuries so a full season from those two would be good. Then they have some talent with Ryno Barnes and Simon Westraad. Rocco Jansen has always been promising. Richard Lawson and Matthew Rosslee are also very promising. They sigend a lot of young talent from Maties and UCT. Will be very interesting. Lots of those young guys will step up to Super Rugby IMO.

  • Comment 20, posted at 12.01.11 15:55:19 by RealDirtyShark Reply

  • @RealDirtyShark (Comment 20) : some interesting names… is Matthew Dobson John’s son?

  • Comment 21, posted at 12.01.11 16:14:35 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • No, He was the Maties hooker. He is actually from Natal originally.

    Check out the video on this link.

  • Comment 22, posted at 12.01.11 16:37:05 by RealDirtyShark Reply

  • Hmm, he’d definitely be an asset for Griquas, but I still think he’s a sour-puss. Wasn’t he in charge of the Aussies when we beat them with two Steyn drop-goals, after which he sulked that drop-goals should be reduced to one point because they just weren’t rugby?

  • Comment 23, posted at 12.01.11 17:28:51 by MerckZ Reply

    MerckZSuper Rugby player
  • @MerckZ (Comment 23) : you reckon Jake White or Div would have reacted any differently?

  • Comment 24, posted at 12.01.11 17:49:08 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @RealDirtyShark (Comment 22) : looks good… reminds me of Kyle Cooper

  • Comment 25, posted at 12.01.11 17:50:42 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Shouldn’t we rather have connolly involved full-time with the junior teams ,ie u20′s u18′s high performance squads?
    Did sa rugby even think of trying to look @ candidates outside sa (foreign born)to fill the position of u20 head?

  • Comment 26, posted at 12.01.11 19:38:39 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
  • If connolly does go to the griquas,then kimberley might just start seeing some young talented (post-craven week)players heading there ..
    Hope jean stemmet can develop to his full potential under a coach of connolly’s acumen.
    His appointment should do wonders for creative backline play (that aussie forte) @griquas ,and hopefully sa rugby.

  • Comment 27, posted at 12.01.11 19:49:29 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
  • I would`ve thought Loffie Eloff would be interested as well? Or did Griquas sign Earl Rose . . . if that`s the case I would understand if he didn`t apply :mrgreen:

  • Comment 28, posted at 12.01.11 20:22:07 by Original Champion Reply
    Original PierreSuper Rugby player

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