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Matfield not a done deal

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Matfield to Bulls is anything but a done deal - reports

Reports that Victor Matfield will soon be unveiled as the new coach of the Bulls ahead for the 2019 Super Rugby season appear to be premature – reports Jan de Koning for Rugby 365.

Recent media reports suggested that the former Springbok lock had edged out Southern Kings coach Deon Davids for the role.

The reports also suggested Pote Human was expected to be named as one of Matfield’s assistant coaches, while Alan Zondagh was in line to be named as the new Director of Rugby at the Bulls.

However, Rugby 365 have revealed that the hunt for a replacement for John Mitchell – who joined Eddie Jones’ England staff as a defence coach in September – has taken a dramatic twist.

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This website has reliably learned that the Blue Bulls Company has formally asked for permission to approach Western Province’s Currie Cup coaches.

This letter has already arrived at Newlands.

The BBC is keen to re-open negotiations with the trio of John Dobson (head coach), Danie Snyman (attack) and Normal Laker (defence) – a group that won the Currie Cup in 2017 and lost to the Sharks in the 2018 Final.

The group was on a previous short list of the Bulls, but they dropped off at an early stage.

The fact that the BBC has asked the Western Province Rugby Football Union for permission to start negotiations with the WP trio suggests that Matfield’s appointment is far from a done deal.

It has also been revealed that Matfield wants to “iron out” some details with his other employers before being appointed at the Bulls.

One of those includes his work as the PayTV analyst.

It has also emerged that the BBC may not appoint Alan Zondagh as a full-time Director of Rugby. Zondagh, a former Western Province coach, was also linked to a prominent position at Loftus Versfeld.

However, @rugby365com has learnt that he may only help out on a part-time or consultancy basis.

Zondagh – who had coaching stints with Eastern Province, Western Province and London Scottish, while being a Director of Rugby at Saracens – in recent years ran a very successful High-Performance Centre in Riebeek West in the Western Cape.

The Bulls’ attempts to find a replacement for Mitchell have run into numerous problems and resulted in a number of candidates – like Jimmy Stonehouse and Fourie du Preez – distancing themselves from the position.

It is clear this merry-go-round is not slowing down any time soon.

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Matfield to Bulls is anything but a done deal - reports