Loubscher in line for Bok backline job?
Former Springbok winger Ricardo Loubscher is the new favourite to become Springbok backline coach for the forthcoming season.
South African Rugby Union CEO Jurie Roux was spotted in Pretoria on Wednesday for a meeting with the Blue Bulls Company CEO, one which ostensibly was to negotiate the release of some of the Bulls management staff for the Springboks.
But while Saru are keeping tight-lipped on the matter, and the Bulls have also not entertained any talk of their staff leaving, Loubscher’s name has been mentioned in the halls of Loftus Versfeld as someone being targeted by new Bok coach Heyneke Meyer for his coaching team.
Meyer was appointed in January and has since struggled to get the buy-in of the provinces to release staff to the national side, with CEO Jurie Roux undertaking the negotiations to get the best team in place.
Initially Meyer had targeted Stormers coach Allister Coetzee, who turned the offer down and chose to stay at the Super Rugby franchise, and the other contender mentioned in the media, Bok Sevens coach Paul Treu, has indicated he wants to concentrate on the Olympic role in 2016.
This has brought Loubscher into the frame, and the former Bok winger, who was coached by Meyer at the Bulls as a player, was then lured into coaching in Pretoria and has been learning the trade under the new Bok coach and Bulls coach Frans Ludeke for seven years now.
Loubscher has been a highly successful backline coach to the Bulls junior teams, raking in titles in his tenure there, and was also the Bulls backline coach for the Vodacom Cup team that won the title in 2010. He has since assisted Meyer in helping the Tuks Varsity Cup team become a force in the competition and is currently splitting his role between Tuks and the Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup side.
SARU GM: Communications Andy Colquhoun would not discuss the coaching roles before an official announcement was made, saying that there was no new news on the Bok management team at the moment.
But a source close to the Bulls has confirmed that Loubscher is on a “wish list” handed to Roux to discuss with Bulls CEO Barend van Graan.
The wish list also includes Bulls forwards coach Johan van Graan and conditioning coach Basil Carzils.
The one Bulls coach who isn’t likely to join Meyer is long-time confidant and friend John McFarland, whose contract is apparently locked in until the end of 2013. It seems Stormers defensive coach Jacques Nienaber is likely to fulfill this role, with most of the other positions already being “inherited” by Meyer.
The team manager Charles Wessels is likely to stay, as is team doctor Craig Roberts and physios Vivian Verwant and Rene Naylor, as all have long-term contracts with the national union.
Meyer has also not ruled out using consultants in his management team, with lineout specialist Victor Matfield a prime candidate to help the national team out and may even go overseas in search of coaching staff if he cannot secure his team in South Africa.
No timeline has been given for the appointments, and it is clear that Saru are trying to get the balance right, both in terms of having the specialists that Meyer wants, and those that are both affordable and available for the national cause.