Former Springbok coach Jaque Fourie has renewed his contract at the Emirates Lions as defence coach but there is no word on whether Ivan van Rooyen, the head coach has renewed his contract for a further two years.
This comes after a report earlier in the week that Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli described as “rumour-mongering” that claimed Van Rooyen’s contract had been renewed, although no sources were named in the report and a veiled reference to Stormers coach John Dobson’s contract renewal seems to have been the basis for it.
Still, the Lions believe they are on the right track and Straeuli was having no talk of renewals while holding firm that the team were still doing well despite their 12th place in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
“The only coach I can confirm who has extended is Jacque Fourie, the head defence coach. We are busy with coaches, players and staff and we will announce as it goes,” Straeuli said.
“Firstly, there is a budget, we have to work within our means. And this is a confidential system, so I am not going to get involved in rumour-mongering."
Straeuli also added that Van Rooyen’s contract negotiations will continue for the moment, as with the rest of the coaching side.
“We are in contract talks and it is highly confidential. We are busy looking into our budget as well as extending the contracts of players, coaches and staff,” said Straeuli.
“It is an ongoing process and as soon as a contract has been extended, it will be announced. It is wrong to single out one person.
“We grew him as a young coach and he's been doing well for us in growing the players that we wanted,” Straeuli explained.
"Like I said, every coach on his own merit has to follow KPIs and we are in a process of that. So he still has a contract till later this year. I do not want to speak about individuals.
"But we are confident we will in the following games reach what we want to do. And we hope to give him that space. It's a bit unfair in the way that this was created this week."
Straeuli said he believed the team were still on the right path.
“We are happy with where we are in the Challenge Cup. We have set the goal of getting into the top eight of the URC. So we have to win the following games at home,” admitted Staeuli.
“Collectively, we are not happy with our results on the recent tour. However, there were difficult conditions and it is unfair to single out one tour, as we went unbeaten on the first tour earlier in the season.
“We play Racing 92 soon in the Challenge Cup. We know what we have to change to get success. We are comfortable that we are going in the right direction.”
The Lions face the Cell C Sharks next weekend.