DECLAN KIDNEY appears to be on the verge of recruiting Os du Randt as Ireland’s scrum coach for the upcoming Rugby World Cup.
The ex-South Africa prop has revealed he’s close to agreeing a short-term deal with the IRFU to come on board for the tournament in New Zealand, which begins for Ireland with a game against Eddie O’Sullivan’s USA on September 11.
Du Randt, a World Cup winner in 1995 and 2007, is currently working as forwards coach with the Cheetahs in the Super 15. His contract expires at the end of their campaign in the summer but he is expected to be offered an extension.
“Ireland will be a short-term move,” said du Randt. “If I sign with the Cheetahs it will be a long-term decision. I’m still negotiating with Ireland but hope to make a final decision soon. It’s difficult to say when it will be confirmed but hopefully by the next meeting I will have signed.
“I can learn so much from their other coaches, the way they conduct themselves at scrum-time, to see how they think and what their philosophies are.”
Du Randt had been working as scrum coach with South Africa but was controversially sacked in March. The 38-year-old was let go for allegedly drinking the night before the Springboks’ game against Wales in Cardiff last November.
Backs coach Dick Muir, kicking coach Percy Montgomery and uncapped player Elton Jantjies were also involved but all three escaped any sanction. The IRFU made contact with du Randt’s agent, Mike de Haast, after he was dumped by the South African Rugby Union.
Du Randt added that the move will be made easier by the presence of former Springbok assistant coach Gert Smal in the Ireland management team. Smal is forwards coach with Ireland and coached du Randt at the 2007 World Cup.
“I played many Tests under Gert, he’s a great forwards coach. Many of the things I’ve done as a coach have been based on what he did with us. He’s so meticulous, his preparation is always top quality and that mental preparation is so important, especially for smaller sides.”
All Black Stephen Donald, who has been heavily linked with a switch to Munster next season, has admitted that he is interested in a move to the northern hemisphere and will make a decision within the next month.
The 27-year-old, capped 22 times by New Zealand, can play at out-half and full-back. Donald is currently with the Chiefs in the Super 15 but is out of contract after the World Cup.
He said: “Nothing is decided. Obviously I love living in New Zealand but there does come a time when you want to go and I’ve just got to weigh up when that time is.
“Obviously it’s pretty tough to give up the All Black dream.”
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