Heyneke Meyer, who helped the Bulls to the first of their three Super Rugby titles, will take a more prominent role at the franchise in future.
The Blue Bulls Company Pty (Ltd) on Wednesday announced several new additions to its current coaching staff, as well as the long term appointment of Meyer as the 'Executive: Rugby'.
Meyer will run a streamlined department, which will see the appointment of Johan (Pine) Pienaar as the Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup coach of the Blue Bulls, as well as former Tuks head coach Nollis Marais, as the Blue Bulls Under-21 coach.
Incumbent Super Rugby head coach Frans Ludeke, remains in charge of the Bulls on a long term contract.
Ludeke will head up the Senior Professional Rugby department, and will be joined by Pienaar, who has just completed a stint as assistant coach for the South African Under-20 team, who will be slotting in as the Blue Bulls coach during Currie Cup season. Pienaar will also take charge of the Vodacom Cup side in future.
Marais will head the Junior Professional Rugby department; with current Under-19 coach Paul Anthony continuing in the role.
Former Eastern Province Kings coach Corné Korff has been added to the Under-19 staff as backline coach, with Elias Bennett now the team manager. John-William Meyer will be the Technical Advisor for this team.
Performance Manager Ian Schwartz will continue in his portfolio, which will be expanded, while Johan Schoeman will run the Game Development portfolio on the amateur side of the union.
In announcing the changes at the press conference at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday, the Chief Executive Officer of the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd, Barend van Graan, said these steps were necessary to make sure the Bulls remain a powerhouse in the game.
“We need to challenge the future and these appointments will help us to build a new legacy at the Bulls after a very successful era has passed. Heyneke will focus on developing the ‘Bulls way’, while Frans will be able to focus on Super Rugby and the research and development that goes with that,” Van Graan said.
Van Graan added that they will be appointing more specialists, who will be available to all the Blue Bulls teams. Biokineticist Shaun du Toit is one such a specialist who has been newly appointed.
A big emphasis will also be placed on the amateur structures to deliver more players to the professional ranks, with Werner de Beer (High Performance - Amateur Rugby and Scouting) and Xander Janse van Rensburg (High Performance - Schools Rugby and Scouting) given that responsibility.
Van Graan also announced the appointment of Richard Papo as Marketing Manager. Papo has been involved in marketing for the past 13 years, specializing in Strategic Marketing. He has worked in various senior marketing positions for both local and multinational companies - managing some of the biggest market leading brands in South Africa.
“One of the challenges in our structures has been the marketing of the Bulls brand. Richard comes with valuable experience to help with the marketing of the Bulls Brand allowing it to reach its full potential.”
The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd is still looking to fill the position of Executive: Commercial & Finance.
“We are looking to appoint someone to manage the overall commercial and financial aspects, develop alternative revenue streams and stimulate stadium events, all the things that need to generate additional money and maximize return on investments .”
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