- Former Springbok flyhalf Louis Koen has emerged as one of the strong candidates for the vacant Springbok Women’s head coach job.
- Former coach Stanley Raubenheimer, who departed when his contract expired in December last year, is also in the running.
- News24 has been reliably informed that SA Rugby is set to announce an interim coach next week to take the team on their European tour.
Former Springbok flyhalf Louis Koen has emerged as one of the strong candidates for the vacant Springbok Women’s head coach job, but former coach Stanley Raubenheimer is also in the running.
Two independent sources, who requested strict anonymity because of their close proximity to SA Rugby's higher operations, told News24 that Koen and Raubenheimer were the leading candidates.
The publication was able to confirm that Raubenheimer re-applied for the position he held for four years between 2018 and 2022, when he was let go following the expiration of his contract at the end of December.
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Koen, however, would not confirm nor deny that he had applied for the role.
"Unfortunately, I am not in a position to answer," Koen said.
Koen, who played for the Stormers, Cats and Bulls in his career, has recently been serving as the SA Rugby high-performance manager and junior rugby head.
Raubenheimer was the coach when the South African women suffered a disappointing Women’s World Cup tournament in New Zealand last year, where they lost all three matches to France, Fiji and England.
At the time of his departure, it was alleged that Raubenheimer and his boss, Lynne Cantwell, the SA Rugby women’s director of rugby, did not see eye-to-eye.
However, the Bok Women's team grew in leaps during his tenure, which came on the back of a four-year, self-induced Test hiatus.
From Raubenheimer's crop, numerous players have gone on to earn overseas stints, including Babalwa Latsha, Zintle Mpupha and Catha Jacobs.
SA Rugby will also need to find someone to fill Cantwell’s position temporarily when she goes on maternity leave.
South African Rugby Union president Mark Alexander would not comment on the impending appointments, saying the office was busy with the recruitment process.
But News24 can report that SA Rugby is set to announce an interim coach next week to take the team on their European tour for Tests against Canada and Spain in Madrid later this month.
South Africa will play Canada in Madrid on Saturday 25 March at the Estadio Nacional de la Universidad Complutense, followed by a Test against the hosts, Spain, at the same venue on 1 April.
Backs: Aphiwe Ngwevu (Border Ladies), Libbie Janse van Rensburg, Unam Tose, Rumandi Potgieter, Jakkie Cilliers, Byrhandre Dolf* (Bulls Daisies), Mary Zulu*, Tayla Kinsey (Sharks Women), Nomawethu Mabenge (EP Queens), Chumisa Qawe, Asiphe Mayaba*, Shaunique Hess* (Western Province).
Forwards: Aseza Hele (Boland Dames), Lerato Makua, Lebogang Ralebona*, Lusanda Dumke, Yonela Ngxingolo, (Bulls Daisies), Lindelwa Gwala, Nompumelelo Mathe (Sharks Women), Sanelisiwe Charlie (EP Queens), Vainah Ubisi* (Golden Lions Women), Nolusindiso Booi (captain), Azisa Mkiva, Sinazo Mcatshulwa, Roseline Botes, Luchell Hanekom*, Danelle Lochner* (Western Province), Babalwa Latsha (Harlequins Women), Catha Jacobs (Saracens Women).
* indicates uncapped player