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VIDEO: Bulls grooming Marutlulle for 'BIG' things

The Bulls are creating a different pathway for young coaches by bringing on board some of the most experienced mentors to guide them through the pitfalls of the game.

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It was confirmed on Friday that Edgar Marutlulle will take over as head coach of the Currie Cup team from Springbok and seasoned international coach Gert Smal – who will be one of his assistants, looking after the forwards.

Former Sharks coach Sean Everitt (defence & breakdown) and former Lions stalwart Hugo van As (backline) are the other assistants on Marutlulle’s powerful panel.

Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White spoke of the “big picture” in helping the new coach find his feet and grow.

“Gert [Smal] has invaluable experience and is happy to help Edgar come through,” the Bulls boss said.

“Hugo [van As] coached Edgar at Varsity Cup level and knows him. Gert worked very closely with Edgar last year.”

White said they have a ‘plan’ with Marutlulle going forward.

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“Part of that development is for him to have the feeling and understanding of being a head coach,” White said.

As the Director of Rugby White will remain ‘hands-on’, be involved in training sessions and sit in the coach’s box at games.

“It is an opportunity for Edgar to learn, not only from myself, but Gert, with his international experience, Sean has coached Super Rugby and Hugo has been around for a long, long time.

“The kind of feedback and support Edgar is going to get is invaluable for a coach who we feel we can bring through our system.”

(Continue below the Jake White interview …)

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Marutlulle, who has not formally retired as a player, said to coach the Bulls was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and to get to do it in South Africa’s oldest and most prestigious domestic competition is more than career-defining.

The Boksburg native and Pukke alumni said winning is ‘paramount’ to any coach at the Bulls.

“Everyone associates the Blue Bulls with winning,” he told @rugby365com.

“For me, personally, is to continue the mandate of the Bulls and win the Currie Cup,” he added.

The 35-year-old added that his goal is to continue the journey of making progress as a coach – a voyage that started within the junior structures in Pretoria.

Most recently, he mentored the Under-21 team to victory during their national title defence – a win that would see all South Africa’s junior titles call Loftus home.

“The Bulls, the franchise that they are, to be so foresightful, trust me, invest their time and energy in me, the IP from all the coaches in that, ensures I look forward to a really great campaign,” the hooker said.

“I see it as a way forward and the start of my [coaching] career.”

Having been schooled in Potchefstroom and joined the university in the Western Transvaal town, he relies on a dominant forward pack to lay the foundation for victory.

“I also see us playing an aggressive style – defensively and on attack. I also see us being really ‘smart’ in the plays that we bring.”

@king365ed
@rugby365com

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