Lack of cash forces Pumas to show ex-Bok the door

CJ van der Linde (Gallo)
CJ van der Linde (Gallo)

Cape Town – The Pumas say they were forced to show former Springbok prop CJ van der Linde the door.

Van der Linde’s contract as forwards coach of the Mpumalanga union was not renewed at the end of last year.

Pumas CEO Pieter Burger told Netwerk24 that the union could no longer afford to hold on to Van der Linde’s services.

The 37-year-old, who played 75 Tests for the Springboks between 2002 and 2012, joined the Pumas last year.

Despite the Pumas receiving franchise status last December, Burger still predicted a tough year financially.

“Yes, we have franchise status, but the reality of the fact is that this year we’ll earn 40% less through broadcast rights than 18 months ago. What can I offer sponsors? A little bit of exposure in the SuperSport Challenge and a single round of the Currie Cup.”

Earlier reports have indicated that the Pumas could play Europe’s Anglo-Welsh Cup, which is a knock-out competition featuring the 12 English Premiership clubs and the four Welsh regions.

However, that could only happen by the end of the year.

“Things will get better from next year once we start earning income from broadcast rights,” Burger added.

The Pumas boss confirmed that Brent Janse van Rensburg remains the head coach, while MJ Mentz stays on as assistant coach.

Burger also confirmed that former Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse will return to the union next month as director of rugby.

The 53-year-old Stonehouse was head coach of the Pumas between 2008 and 2015, before leaving to coach the Toshiba Brave Lupus club in Japan.

Stonehouse will be at the forefront of the Pumas’ strategic plans for the future.

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