Johannesburg – Conjecture over the future of Sharks coach Sean Everitt has been kicked into touch by his employers who on Sunday confirmed that Everitt will continue in his job, with Neil Powell on top of the structure as the new Director of Rugby.
When the Sharks lost to the Bulls at the quarter-finals stage of the URC, their supporters unfairly targeted Everitt as the scapegoat for what they regarded as a disappointing campaign and called for his head, but sanity has prevailed and the likeable coach has been backed by his bosses.
Powell’s first day at the Shark Tank will be shortly after the Blitzboks conclude the Sevens Cup in September and new members of staff under the Sevens guru are defence coach Joey Mongalo – until recently he was in that role at the Bulls – and French breakdown expert Yannick Bru.
Sharks CEO Ed Coetzee explained the new developments: “Neil will be at the helm, to develop and oversee all our rugby structures and to ensure that our teams are aligned in terms of the identified coaching DNA. He will implement an effective plan to achieve the franchise’s objectives, which is ultimately to win trophies.
“He will oversee the United Rugby Championship, as well as our first foray into the Heineken Champions Cup. As a globally respected coach, we are confident that he will get the best out of players and he brings a winning mindset to the Sharks,” Coetzee added.
“Neil’s immediate commitment over the next few months will be on the Blitzboks’ preparation for the Sevens Cup in September and as proud South Africans, we wish him and the team much success. We look forward to him joining us before the start of the new URC season starting in September.”
Although the Sharks made the quarter-finals of the URC, they obviously would have been aiming higher and in bringing in Mongalo and Bru, they will be hoping to polish up weaknesses.
We have assembled a formidable group of current and new coaches, spearheaded by Sean Everitt, to harness the talent within this team and to take our rugby to the next level,” Coetzee said.
“To this end, we are excited to confirm the appointment of Yannick Bru as the senior team’s breakdown coach for the European competitions. Bru is a former France international and a dual Heineken Cup winner with Toulouse. He has coached at the highest level — as forwards coach for France for five years and five years at Toulouse, before spending the last four years as head coach at Bayonne. As a coach who has worked with high-profile players and teams, he is a great addition to our coaching unit and joins us on a one-year deal with the option to renew.
“The final addition to our new coaching structure is the highly regarded Joey Mongalo, who will work closely with our Neil to oversee the Currie Cup competition and junior rugby at the Sharks.”
Coetzee added: “In this upcoming season we will be participating in no less than five competitions. This means that not only is player depth important, but coaching depth too. It was therefore essential for us to get the right people involved and we have used the last 18 months to do exactly that.”