More change on the way

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 14 Jun 2015 at 19:32
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While we didn’t dwell too much on the story last week, preferring rather to get the Super Rugby campaign out of the way, the time is over-ripe to concentrate on some very important news to come out of Durban.

Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold has been rather vocal this past week about yet another upcoming change to the coaching structures at Kings Park. While the former Bok assistant coach has himself been very hands-on over the course of the Super Rugby campaign, due in no small part to the lack of a suitably qualified head coach in the ranks beneath him, Gold has now confirmed that he will be stepping back into a more traditional Director of Rugby role in the months to come.

In short, it means Gold will not be responsible for the day-to-day coaching of the senior team – rather focusing on structures and coaching development – and it’s expected that this change will come into effect even before this year’s Currie Cup campaign.

The inevitable question, of course, is who the next head coach will be. Reading between the lines, it appears unlikely that any of the current crop of assistant coaches will be asked to step up into the hot seat, meaning the Sharks will go to the market for a new head coach, for the fourth time since axing John Plumtree just 24 months ago. John Mitchell, whose name is inevitably linked with every vacant coaching job within about 6 hours of its announcement, has ruled himself out of contention and with good local options thin on the ground (assuming neither Naka Drotske nor recently-single Frans Ludeke would be in the running) the odds are better than even that an experienced candidate from abroad could be in the running.

With a pressing need to get the new man ensconced soon, you can rest assured that the Sharks must already be close to finding their man and agreeing terms; however, it’s far from clear at this stage who that person is likely to be. We wait on the edge of our seats, hoping against hope that whoever chooses to step into the breach this time has better luck – and more longevity – than the ones who have come before.


  • Robbie Deans top of my wishlist. Am I dreaming Rob? Can we affird someone like that? Also someone of real calibre would expect to pick his own assistants me thinks

  • Comment 1, posted at 14.06.15 19:40:58 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • Who ultimately would be the best fit? I wonder what his role is come super rugby next year as well?

  • Comment 2, posted at 14.06.15 19:48:54 by Shane Hansen Reply

  • Who ultimately would be the best fit? I wonder what his role is come super rugby next year as well?
    Interesting times ahead

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.06.15 19:49:28 by Shane Hansen Reply

  • Well lets hope for someone who can pull things together and move the Sharks into the right direction – being forward/upward 😉 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.06.15 19:49:32 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • I always liked Plumtree ? he should have stayed 24 months ago!

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.06.15 19:52:22 by capesharks Reply

  • What is Eddie Jones up to nowadays? Still with Japan?

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.06.15 19:53:44 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • Robbie Deans, Jimmy Stonehouse?

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.06.15 19:56:30 by Letgo Reply
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  • @RedSharkUtd82 (Comment 6) : he signed up to coach the new japan super team

  • Comment 8, posted at 14.06.15 19:57:09 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • shees … good luck guys

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.06.15 19:57:56 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 7) : Both coaching in Japan though.

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.06.15 19:59:12 by Letgo Reply
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  • Maybe clive woodward?

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.06.15 20:12:03 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 10) : sharks should just make them the usual massive offer they cant refuse

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.06.15 20:14:19 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 8) : Damn pity that.

  • Comment 13, posted at 14.06.15 20:14:36 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • Ewen McKenzie is working in construction in Christchurch…

  • Comment 14, posted at 14.06.15 20:14:49 by Feather Reply

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  • Is Dick Muir an option at all?

  • Comment 15, posted at 14.06.15 20:49:37 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Apparently its a assistant forwards coach from abroad. Not sure what this means but I am sure its cant be Plum.

  • Comment 16, posted at 14.06.15 20:58:27 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • So basically the Sharks will start 4 consecutive Super Rugby competitions with 4 deferent Head Coaches oh and don’t forget one got sacked before the end of the season so that will be 5 deferent Super Rugby Head Coaches in 4 years and just for fun sprinkled in between a new Head Coach for the 3 Currie Cups!!!!! So no Head coach has lasted much more than 6 months since the start of 2013 (about 30 months)!!!!!! FFS John get this merrie-go-round under control or all the quality players will leave!!!!

  • Comment 17, posted at 14.06.15 21:01:48 by JD Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 16) : fuck at this stage I’d even help to host the welcome back party if it will stop this merrie-go-round of Head Coaches!!!!

  • Comment 18, posted at 14.06.15 21:04:05 by JD Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 16) : source of that?

  • Comment 19, posted at 14.06.15 21:11:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 17) : Jeez those are scary stats man.. Goodluck to the new guy!!

  • Comment 20, posted at 14.06.15 21:14:09 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • Thank God!!! Although let me not speak to soon they could hire someone just as useless, and even if they don’t the new coach will still have to deal with the school boy level assistant coaches.

    With Gold going to DOR, does that mean Venter will now not be involved at all?

  • Comment 21, posted at 14.06.15 21:27:43 by Seth101 Reply
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  • I wish…I wish…I wish…for a good coach, some stability and better days ahead…

  • Comment 22, posted at 14.06.15 21:59:27 by pastorshark Reply
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  • What is it that they say..”If you can’t do, teach! Perhaps that should be…:If you can’t coach be a DOR!
    Funny how everyone wanted Plum out now they want him back – same goes for Dickie!

  • Comment 23, posted at 14.06.15 22:22:33 by Lastoutpost Reply

  • @Lastoutpost (Comment 23) : I never wanted Dick out

  • Comment 24, posted at 14.06.15 23:25:55 by robdylan Reply
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  • @capesharks (Comment 5) :

    I agree!

  • Comment 25, posted at 14.06.15 23:45:57 by Den Reply

  • @Lastoutpost (Comment 23) : I dont think anyone wanted Dick out. Apart from the epi taione debacle, he was one of the best we had.

  • Comment 26, posted at 15.06.15 06:40:40 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • Which is as it should be we must have a head coach separate from the dir role. News of a new forwards coach also good. And without pressing our luck too far the horak and Venter setup needs to change as well. Less players from Japan next year please they seem to be getting more and more and we are suckered into using them and getting no real value from them. I understand it was a bunch of things contributing to the current state among which I think the Japanese players played a part so let’s not step into that again. Also the bad acquisitions John, time to make that go away too.

  • Comment 27, posted at 15.06.15 07:10:08 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 27) : well ive been a huge critic, bit the last 3 signings have been brilliant imo

  • Comment 28, posted at 15.06.15 07:35:52 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • I have not commented for a long time watching this debacle unfolding.

    the sharks is a business with shareholders and stakeholders. If the Sharks was a listed company JohnS and Peter Saad would have been fired a year ago.

    We have no strategy or plan.

    We have gone from a great brand to chaos.

    We are not winning. From winning the CC to the pathetic S15 campaign. This is how low we have gone.

    Nepotism is rife. Johns buddies everywhere.

    All these changes must have cost the sharks a fortune which they could have invested in players and player development.

    We have lost 50+ player sat all levels during this period. How do they convince PSDT and MC to stay in this chaos ?

    We need to get a new leader who can develop a strategy and deliver a sustainable SHARKS union.

    Stop fooling around and address the real problem.

  • Comment 29, posted at 15.06.15 08:01:09 by Observer Reply

  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 28) : Well on paper anyways. Let’s see if they can live up to our expectations. I also expected Kanko Deysel and JP to have a major impact but due to various reasons they didn’t really. Let’s hope the new batch delivers.

  • Comment 30, posted at 15.06.15 08:21:00 by coolfusion Reply

  • Let’s speak to Mitchell again. Find out the reasons for that and see if we can come to an agreement. I hope John didn’t impose his assistants on him. Let’s start a “please come to the sharks Mitch” campaign. I for one cannot stomach another display of shit Sharks rugby. We need this guy. Smit needs to give this guy assurance that he will back him. I also would not be comfortable if the CEO backed useless assistants and the players to boot a high profile coach like White.

  • Comment 31, posted at 15.06.15 08:24:08 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • I think the best would be to give the Japan guys a half contract and only start playing them by game 6 or 8 even. Give them a proper pre-season. This way they will actually strengthen your team at some point, where you can then give guys in their positions a proper rest.

    I’m not against the Japan deals, since I’d rather have some of these guys a little, than not at all, but I think someone needs to sit don’t and really think what the best way is to use and manage these players.

  • Comment 32, posted at 15.06.15 08:24:38 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Observer (Comment 29) : yes

  • Comment 33, posted at 15.06.15 08:24:58 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • I think John needs to let BMH and SE go. They were brought in as head coaches and when their inexperience showed shoved to the back behind head coaches. Do they even contribute anymore, with every new international coach coming in their surely their contribution is less and less. John had the perfect opportunity to change the whole setup all once, but I think backing BMH and SE as head coaches was his first mistake.

    New we’ll have a DOR who didn’t make it as head coach and assistant coaches who didn’t make it as head coach and an new head coach who has to work under this DOR and with these assistants. It sound like a recipe sure to fail.

  • Comment 34, posted at 15.06.15 08:30:58 by Letgo Reply
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  • i really liek this move by Gold. The Sharks Union desperately needs someone to act as a traditional Director of Coaching to create a pipeline from the u19s through to the senior side. I also feel there are too many additional coaches that need to be shown the exit stage left. I however dont feel a big name coach is required as a big name brings a big ego and often an unwillingness to work with others unless its his way all the time. So i suggest they look at 1 or 2 (not more than 2) good man managers with technique expertise. So 1 x forwards coach and 1 c backline coach. Gold can set the overall strategy. Less is definitely more in this respect

  • Comment 35, posted at 15.06.15 08:32:46 by SheldonK Reply

  • The forward coach referred to is probably Stonehouse. I like him but not as a head coach just yet. I want him as the forwards coach.

  • Comment 36, posted at 15.06.15 08:40:36 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • Gold was never meant to be coaching, he was appointed as DOR, that he and Jake White ended up being the head coach is an indictment of haw bad things are at the Sharks on a coaching front. From the Supersport website “It was always my intention to be a director of rugby, that was what I understood I was employed to be, but it didn’t work out that way initially for various reasons. I won’t kid anyone, there is a heck of a lot of work that needs to be done, and some of the structures have been neglected and will take time to get right.

    The whole article can be read here

  • Comment 37, posted at 15.06.15 08:55:43 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 34) : back right up.

    I agree with you re BMH, but Everitt has never been appointed head coach. If anything, perhaps the biggest screw up yet made was to favour Macleod-Henderson, who has no experience, for the head coaching role ahead of Everitt, who cut his teeth in that role for many years with the juniors and Vodacom Cup side and at least has the respect and backing of most of the players.

  • Comment 38, posted at 15.06.15 08:59:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 32) : Yes agree. My point is this, if you want to take the japan contract it’s your career and choice however the penalty and repercussions is that you feature lower on the consideration order. Give the sa based players a reason or reward for staying loyal and available. In fact even move the young up a and coming guys ahead of hap players on the list. What is the risk? The majority of Japan based players have reintegration issues or questionable commitment why should they still benefit?

  • Comment 39, posted at 15.06.15 09:02:01 by coolfusion Reply

  • Rob …Theres scope for an article on what a head coach, technical director, director if rugby do because it seems there is much confusion in this regard

  • Comment 40, posted at 15.06.15 09:04:22 by byron Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 37) : I personally would also be happy to see someone make good on the promise of managing the juniors looking at retention etc. Gold has also been played out of position so has Jake it is time that gets fixed.

  • Comment 41, posted at 15.06.15 09:05:34 by coolfusion Reply

  • All I can say is that whoever the new person is, I hope the announcement is not as UNDER whelming as when either Brad Mcleod Henderson or Gary Gold were appointed.

    As for the current infatuation amongst fans here for John Mitchell to be appointed, I really don’t know if he is the right person. He talks a good game as a SuperSport analyst, but when you look at his past experiences as a coach he has no real successes to speak of.

  • Comment 42, posted at 15.06.15 09:10:39 by jonnow Reply

  • @byron (Comment 40) : well, I guess there is scope, but the problem tends to be just how loosely defined and “subject to interpretation” these roles are.

    You’ll find that there isn’t a universal definition or application, meaning it’s essentially up to each team to work it out for themselves.

  • Comment 43, posted at 15.06.15 09:12:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 38) : Do you think countries like Oz and nz also battle with reintegration of Japan based players? If not what are they doing differently or is it down to the caliber and character of the individual player? It would be interesting to see some comparisons? Potgieter for instance is a Japanese player but still had a good Sr season didn’t he?

  • Comment 44, posted at 15.06.15 09:14:09 by coolfusion Reply

  • I said it before, and I will say it again, John, please get Stonehouse! Then get Campo in as our backline/skills coach.

  • Comment 45, posted at 15.06.15 09:18:32 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 39) : I predict that a lot more of our younger players will start taking the Japan and Perth options a lot sooner,more Brynand Standers and Marcel Braachies[spelling].
    To keep the players here we need to start paying in dollar,Pound,yen terms and not rands.
    Half the guys on this site have taken that money route,what makes you think its any different for rugby players.
    To be able to match those salaries,we need to get our game back to money spinner it used to be.
    Bums on seats and not the lilly white bums we are used to.
    SARU have been pathetic at trying to sell the game to the larger population

  • Comment 46, posted at 15.06.15 09:19:02 by The hound Reply
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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 36) : Well if it is Stonehouse then great, but you have to ask why spend a fortune on importing him from Japan when you couldve picked him up from Nelspruit a while ago at probably half the price?

  • Comment 47, posted at 15.06.15 09:23:58 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 47) : Dude, nothing the Sharks management has done these past few years have made sense, lets just hope that they have finally come to their senses.

  • Comment 48, posted at 15.06.15 09:25:16 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 38) :

    Cool, thanks for setting me straight on that point.

    But we still have to many guys in the room that could easily be head coach and had that role with their previous teams directly before being hired by the Sharks.

    Sean Everit
    Brendan Venter
    Gary Gold/Jake White

    It seems like they are hiring guys and giving them a title without any further thought of what they would specifically contribute to the team. When you act as head coach, I’m assuming you usually have a number of assistant coaches looking after specialty areas. So then being hired in a specialty area (Backline/Forwards), is not necessarily the place you will be able to contribute the most to a coaching team.

    The question is while Everitt made his way through the ranks, would he not be better used as an assistant coach to a head coach (almost like Dick Muir was to Rudolph Straeuli) before taking over the reigns? In that coaching team Straeuli was seen more as a forwards specialist and DM as a backs specialist, which made them a good team. When DM was made head coach we got Plum as assistant, again seen as more a forwards specialist. Straeuli was still head coach over DM and would have overseen all structures. Just like DM was head coach over Plum and would have been involved in backline as well as forwards coaching when he took over this role.

    I don’t see this thought and progression going into the selection of our current coaching team.

  • Comment 49, posted at 15.06.15 09:27:32 by Letgo Reply
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  • @jonnow (Comment 42) : 83.9% win % with the All Blacks over 28 games and the Lions’ first Currie Cup in 12 years.

    However I see Mitchell as a poisoned chalice. Personal issues/player revolt follow this guy around.

    If I could choose any coach in the world right now it would be Ireland’s coach.

  • Comment 50, posted at 15.06.15 09:28:35 by Feather Reply

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  • Swys de Bruin. He would be wonderful.

  • Comment 51, posted at 15.06.15 09:28:39 by money Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 49) : you are right, there doesn’t seem to be much emphasis placed on roles and responsibilities

  • Comment 52, posted at 15.06.15 09:29:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • @jonnow (Comment 42) : The Lions rebuild was one of his doings. So I would count that. He has been said to have a problem with relationships, so he may be good technically but would his presence be disruptive and would people willingly follow him?

  • Comment 53, posted at 15.06.15 09:35:45 by coolfusion Reply

  • @money (Comment 51) : He is staying at lions so not an option at the moment. Just a thought but offer Brendan venter head coach no more consultant.

  • Comment 54, posted at 15.06.15 09:52:40 by coolfusion Reply

  • Arise Sir Gareth Edwards! 😎

  • Comment 55, posted at 15.06.15 09:59:26 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 37) :
    Thanks for this: this was my understanding too. The search for a head coach was always going to happen, since Gold is here to build long term success through structures throughout the union.

    Regarding Plumtree – no thanks. He had the same issue that led to Ludeke’s firing by the Bulls: initial success via solid fundamentals followed by a complete lack of evolution into a more holistic, 15 man game.

  • Comment 56, posted at 15.06.15 10:09:30 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @robdylan (Comment 43) : I’m imagining that asking the Sharks for a clarification on what the DoR will be tasked to do is likely to be met with the same success as asking Beyonce to restrict herself to expressing vowels as single syllables…?

  • Comment 57, posted at 15.06.15 10:15:54 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 56) : happy birthday to your little princess

  • Comment 58, posted at 15.06.15 10:20:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 57) : something like that

  • Comment 59, posted at 15.06.15 10:21:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 58) :
    Thanks bud!

  • Comment 60, posted at 15.06.15 10:45:31 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @coolfusion (Comment 53) : wouldn’t the DOR be the one that would be ensure that the relations between all stakeholders are good.

  • Comment 61, posted at 15.06.15 10:51:01 by GreatSharksays Reply


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