Mitchell lays out Bulls' blueprint

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 14:49

CURRIE CUP NEWS: Blue Bulls head coach John Mitchell has expressed his goal of getting the Union back to its former glory, the start of which came to fruition with a full coaching personnel restructure.

The Bulls placed Nollis Marais on "leave" for the remainder of the year as well as shuffling his assistants, David Manuel and Anton Leonard to the Under-21 side.

Mitchell stated that the restructure was always part of the plan since he came on board, but they had opted to effect that change sooner rather than later.

"If you look at my appointment, we were always going to come to this point at some point.

"Building a franchise for me is more important than just wins and losses. Not just restructure one position, there is a lot of intelligence that has experienced this new methodology for a month right through the whole franchise. So we want to get the whole blueprint through the franchise so that we pushing up from the bottom, we need it in the roots of our franchise.

"We have to build the franchise first in order to get back to greatness and if we think we are going to do it any other way, then we are going to fall short," he said.

The three time Super Rugby Champions have been in free-fall since the departure of former coach Frans Ludeke in 2015.

Ludeke was appointed as head coach of the Bulls in 2008 and during his time at the helm, led the Pretoria-based outfit to two Super Rugby titles in 2009 and 2010 and to Currie Cup glory.

Marais took over the reigns from that point and during his two seasons in charge of the Bulls at Currie Cup and Super Rugby level, Marais was unable to get the expected and desired results.

The Bulls finished their 2017 Super Rugby campaign in 15th position on the combined table with four wins and 11 defeats.

The Bulls management realized that something had to be done in order to address the performances of their team and brought in the experienced Mitchell in May as the Executive of Rugby within the Blue Bulls' Company (Pty) Ltd.

However, he only arrived in Pretoria on July 16, after completing his commitments to the United States of America's national team.

Mitchell's first task as head coach of the Bulls will be to overcome the challenge of the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday. 

By Josh Isaacson

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