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Bulls confirm new coaching ticket with ex-Ireland forwards coach at helm

By Kim Ekin
Gert Smal (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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Former Ireland forwards coach Gert Smal has confirmed his new coaching tickets as he lead the Bulls in their Carling Currie Cup title defence.

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The Tshwane-based side last month announced the arrival of former Springbok assistant coach, Smal, at Loftus to spearhead the team for the campaign.

A giant 6’6, 120kg Springbok flanker in his playing days; the 59-year-old was assistant coach to current Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, during the successful era which led to the Springboks winning the 2007 World Cup in France.

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Smal further held the role of assistant coach for Ireland from 2008 until 2013 before assuming a position as director of rugby at DHL Western Province. Most recently, he has been coaching at Japanese club, Toyota Verblitz as forwards coach.

The former Bok flanker will be ably assisted by a new coaching staff in the campaign which kicks off with a visit to Mbombela on Friday where the Vodacom Bulls will face the Pumas.

Former Vodacom Bulls Under-20 coaches Pine Pienaar (defence coach), Hayden Groepes (backs and attack coach), Edgar Marutlulle (scrum coach) will take up their reins in the Carling Currie Cup team.

“We are privileged at the Vodacom Bulls to have a number of talented coaches within our structures,” said Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White. “A knowledgeable coach like Gert will certainly find comfort in being surrounded by an experienced coach like Pine Pienaar, a hard-working and committed individual like Hayden Groepes and one of the most promising player-turned-coach in Edgar Marutlulle.

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“We have no doubt that this team of coaches and the squad of players that we have will continue to fly the Vodacom Bulls flag high in the Carling Currie Cup this year.”

BULLS COACHING TICKET:
Head Coach: Gert Smal
Defence Coach: Pine Pienaar
Backs & Attack Coach: Hayden Groepes
Scrum Coach: Edgar Marutlulle

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