Super Rugby

Lions won’t let Straeuli go without a fight

Rudolf Straeuli (Gallo Images)
Rudolf Straeuli (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Lions have confirmed the Bulls’ interest in their CEO Rudolf Straeuli but said they will do their best to keep him in Johannesburg.

This comes after a report surfaced late last month that Straeuli’s name was on a shortlist for the position of Bulls CEO. The Pretoria franchise is looking for a replacement for Barend van Graan, who will vacate his post at the end of January next year.

Straeuli said he did not apply for the position, but the Lions - through their chairperson Altmann Allers - confirmed to Netwerk24 that the Bulls had approached the former Springbok coach.

Allers though insisted that they will fight to keep Straeuli.

“Rudolf has done excellent work as CEO here over the last four years and we feel there is still some unfinished business for him here. However, it does not surprise me that the Bulls are interested in his services because he is someone who demands respect in South African rugby and he’ll be a huge asset for any province.”

Allers added that more clarity on Straeuli’s future will be given towards the end of October.

NEW BULLS COACH

The Bulls, meanwhile, are also on the hunt for a new head coach after the departure of John Mitchell last month.

Mitchell will join England as their new defence coach.

Deon Davids (Kings), Franco Smith (Cheetahs), Jimmy Stonehouse (Pumas), John Dobson and Dawie Snyman (both Western Province) and former Springbok lock Victor Matfield have been mentioned as possible replacements for Mitchell.

The New Zealander’s tenure at the Bulls came to a premature end as his contract was due to only expire at the end of October 2019. He had a torrid first Super Rugby season in charge of the Bulls, winning just six of 16 games to finish bottom on the South African Conference.

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