CONFIRMED: Cheetahs boss lands Italian job
TRANSFER NEWS: After numerous media speculations, Cheetahs finally revealed that Franco Smith will leave his posts as head coach.
Smith, who have coached the Cheetahs since 2015, will take up the role as head coach of the Italian national side on January 1, 2020.
The 46-year-old will remain with the Bloemfontein franchise for Curie Cup, where after the new coach will take over the reins for PRO14 later in September.
In order to ensure a smooth transition, Franco will remain in the position as Head Coach for Currie Cup, where after the new coach will take over the reins for Guinness PRO14 later in September. https://t.co/DFKaMF2OhW
— Toyota Cheetahs (@CheetahsRugby) May 14, 2019
The Cheetahs Rugby Union released a statement confirming the news:
“The Board of Directors see this as a great opportunity for Franco and is proud of the fact that so many top coaches have been developed by the Free State Cheetahs.
“Free State Rugby is seen as a breeding ground of opportunity with coaches like Rassie Erasmus, Niel Powell, Jacques Nienaber, Pote Human, Brendon Venter, Rory Duncan, Daan Human, who all started off in the Free State – and in the past, Nelie Smith, Gysie Pienaar and others.
“The Board of Directors is proud of and wishes Franco the best of luck with the opportunity to coach on an international level until the next world cup in 2023.
“In order to ensure a smooth transition, Franco will remain in the position as Head Coach for Currie Cup, where after the new coach will take over the reins for PRO14 later in September.
“The new coach will be part of the coaching structures during Currie Cup to experience the culture.
“After Currie Cup, Franco will stay in the fold as Director of Rugby until the end of November 2019.
“In the meanwhile, the Board of Directors has started with the process by assigning a panel which includes relevant role players that will be responsible to appoint the best candidate as the new Head Coach for the Cheetahs.
“Applications for the position will be advertised internally, externally and through SARU,”