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Rory Duncan told he's no longer part of Worcester's plans - reports

By Alex Shaw
Rory Duncan had success with the Cheetahs in the PRO14, guiding them to the playoffs at the first time of asking. (Photo by Huw Evans Agency/Gallo Images)

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Worcester Warriors head coach Rory Duncan has been a man in demand over the last six months, as the South African’s work with the Cheetahs and Worcester has earned him admiring glances from rival teams.

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Duncan was reportedly in the frame to succeed Franco Smith at his former franchise before Hawies Fourie was announced as the incoming head coach, whilst he has also been linked with the vacant position at the Southern Kings, who became the first South African club to have majority independent ownership when they were the subject of a takeover from The Greatest Rugby Company in the Whole Wide World earlier this year.

Worcester were subject to their own takeover this year, as Jason Whittingham, Colin Goldring and Jed McCrory took charge of the Gallagher Premiership club. McCrory has since left the club, but Goldring and Whittingham have spoken publicly about their commitment to the side and have announced their intent to not only remain at Worcester long-term, but to also develop much of the land around the Warriors’ Sixways Stadium.

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons has also signed an extension to his contract with the club, ensuring that he is tenured to the West Midlands side until the end of the 2021/22 season.

There looks to be less stability at the head coach position, however, with Worcester News reporting that they have been informed by the club that Duncan is not a part of the “strategic plan for the future” that they are looking to implement.

“The club has put in place a strategic plan for the future of Warriors,” a club spokesman said to Worcester News.

“We do not envisage Rory Duncan being part of those plans and, therefore, we have given Rory permission to seek opportunities elsewhere.”

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This will add further fuel to the fire that Duncan is bound for Port Elizabeth, where the Southern Kings have openly listed him among a four-man shortlist that is also comprised of Pieter de Villiers, Steven Jackson and Corniel van Zyl. De Villiers, according to a tweet from Eastern Province General Manager Thando Manana, will be interviewing for the role on Monday.

With the seasons of Worcester and the Kings to begin in September, both will be eager to resolve the uncertainty hanging over their head coaching positions as soon as possible.

Should the Worcester coach eventually get the position, he will be no stranger to Eastern Province, having played for the EP Kings in the Currie Cup for two years prior to his retirement from professional rugby.

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Watch: Josh Strauss has left Sale Sharks to join the Blue Bulls.

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