The Bulls have announced the arrival of Gert Smal to Pretoria as he takes charge of the Currie Cup team.
With the Tshwane-based side expected to participate in both the United Rugby Championship (URC) and the Currie Cup, which are set to overlap in the new year, it was imperative that the Bulls go into their title-defence campaign under the guidance of a distinguished mentor.
"It is an honour for me to be given this opportunity to coach at one of the top unions in South Africa and also in a competition of such prestige as the Currie Cup," said Smal.
The 59-year-old was assistant coach to Bulls director of rugby Jake White during the successful era which led to the Springboks winning the 2007 World Cup in France.
"The Bulls are in a good space at the moment as the winners of the Currie Cup for two seasons in a row. Our aim will be to continue flying the union’s flag high and cementing our position as the most competitive side in South African rugby. I look forward to the journey ahead with this ambitious side."
White underscored the importance of defending their title, which will now be in the capable hands of Smal.
"The competition remains the premier domestic [tournament]. It has, therefore, been important for us to bring in somebody with vast coaching experience and an understanding of the game to complement the vision of this union.
"We are focused and working hard on ensuring that our Currie Cup campaign and planning is on track. We have now won it twice in a row, and we have won the most out of any union. So, we take it very seriously," said White.