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Cheetahs lose their coach ahead of Challenge Cup play-offs

NEWS: The next chapter in Hawies Fourie’s coaching career has been confirmed.

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On Thursday, the professional arm of Boland Rugby officially announced the appointment of Fourie as their new head coach for the Boland Cavaliers.

His tenure starts on March 1.

It’s a massive disruption for the Cheetahs, who face French side Clermont Auvergne on April 6 in the Challenge Cup Round of 16.

Boland Rugby took a massive step towards a new era of growth following last year’s announcement of an equity partnership with Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS), a subsidiary of Remgro Limited, and a consortium comprising companies controlled by the Motsepe family (Motsepe Consortium).

“Hawies Fourie’s extensive experience and deep connection to Boland Rugby make him the perfect fit for the head coach role,” said Quintin van Rooyen, CEO of Boland Rugby.

“We are excited about the future under his guidance and look forward to seeing rugby in the Boland celebrated as one of the doyens of South African rugby once again.”

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Alongside Fourie, four assistant coaches have been confirmed including Alshaun Bock (backline and defence), Mornay Kurtz (forwards), Jacquin Jansen (kicking), and Iver Aanhuizen (strength and conditioning).

“It is special to come back to the very union where it all started for me, as a coach,” said Fourie.

Speaking about his medium and long-term plans, Fourie said: “There is no reason why we cannot get back in the top six teams in the country, and that will be my aim when I get back in Wellington.”

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Fourie was Boland’s head coach between 2002 and 2005.

In 2007, Fourie was appointed as the Free State Cheetahs’ backline coach for the Currie Cup and Super Rugby sides.

It was a role he would occupy for seven seasons before accepting the Griquas’ head coaching role.

Fourie then returned to the Western Cape as the head coach for Maties in the Varsity Cup. It was a role which saw him win the coveted Varsity Cup for the Stellenbosch side, a record fourth and fifth win in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

He returned as the head coach for Free State at the end of the 2019 season. During this time, the Bloemfontein outfit won the Currie Cup in 2023.

Reflecting on his time at the Cheetahs, Fourie said: “I am thankful to the Cheetahs, I have coached there for 13 years, nine of which was with Naka Drotské and four as the head coach.”

Ross van Reenen, CEO of Free State Rugby, acknowledged Fourie’s impact, stating: “Hawies has been an invaluable asset to our coaching staff, and we are grateful for his contributions.

“The Free State Cheetahs is known for providing opportunities for players and coaches and have agreed to release Hawies to pursue the opportunity.

“We are grateful to Hawies for his input and wish him well with this new adventure.”

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