Stalker makes Chester quit

2007-07-18 22:34

Cape Town - Former Springbok wing Chester Williams has resigned as coach of the Pumas rugby team to be with his family, who have been harassed by a stalker.

"My wife is a nervous wreck," Williams said here on Wednesday.

He handed in his resignation as Pumas coach in Witbank on Tuesday and immediately moved back to the Western Cape.

Williams, whose name is one of those on the short list from which the new Stormers coach will be chosen, has denied that his decision to leave Witbank had anything to do with the job.

"I resigned for personal reasons," he explained on Wednesday. "My family live in the Cape and are harassed by a stalker. It is traumatic, and the only reason for my decision to come to Cape Town."

The Western Province Rugby Union had made no promises about any position to him, Williams added.

The new chief coach of the Stormers is expected to be appointed by Friday. The favourite is Rassie Erasmus, currently technical adviser to the Springboks.

Gert Smal, a former WP and Stormers coach, is the other strong candidate. Others in the race are Peter de Villiers, who has had success with the South African Under-21 side and the Emerging Springboks, and acting WP coach Gary Gold.

Williams said he would be interested in any WP position, including that of Under-21 coach. The job is vacant because Gold and Nazeem Adams were appointed as acting coaches of the Currie Cup team after Kobus van der Merwe and Jerome Paarwater had been asked to stand down.

"If I don't get a job at WP, I'll start a business or coach a club team," Williams said. "I love rugby."

Reports published earlier this year made mention of a couple in a white pick-up that had followed the Williams family.

"At first it was a man and a woman; now it's only a man," Williams said.

The police were informed but have not acted against anyone. "They can't do anything until the stalker does something, like breaking into the house."