Joey Mongalo, the man behind the Bulls’ defensive steel in recent years, will take over as the Sharks’ Currie Cup head coach next season, the union confirmed on Monday.
Sean Everitt will continue to be the senior coach steering the Sharks’ United Rugby Championship campaign, while Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell will oversee all the coaches in his position of director of rugby, and will arrive at Kings Park in time for the start of the new European campaign in September.
Mongalo, a University of Pretoria Masters graduate, will get the chance to be a head coach again, having won the U-19 Currie Cup with the Lions in 2016 and 2017.
His work as the Bulls defence coach from June 2020 was highly rated, with the franchise dominating local rugby with back-to-back Currie Cup titles as well as making the final of this year’s URC.
Etienne Fynn, who oversaw a disappointing Sharks Currie Cup campaign this year, will work under Mongalo as a scrum/forwards coach. Former Springbok wings JP Pietersen and Lwazi Mvovo, along with former Sharks U20 head coach Mike Vowles and former utility forward Luvuyiso Lusaseni, will make up the rest of Mongalo’s coaching staff.
Boosted by Bru
The URC team has been boosted by the signing of former French international and Bayonne head coach Yannick Bru, who will fulfil the role of breakdown coach. Bru won the Champions Cup twice as a player with Toulouse, a team he also served as an assistant coach for five years, before becoming the French national team’s forwards coach.
Bru’s extensive knowledge of European rugby will obviously be of great value for the Sharks as they negotiate the challenges of taking on English and French clubs for the first time next season. He will be joined by Warren Whiteley, Phiwe Nomlomo, Noel McNamara and Aksventi Giorgadze as the URC assistant coaches.
Powell’s arrival after the Sevens World Cup in September will complete the new dawn of coaching at Kings Park.
“Neil will be at the helm, to develop and oversee all rugby structures within the Sharks and to ensure that our teams are aligned in terms of the identified coaching DNA,” said Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee.
“He will implement and manage an effective plan to achieve the franchise’s objectives, which is ultimately to win trophies. He will oversee the United Rugby Championship, as well as our first foray in the Champions Cup,” Coetzee added.
“As a globally respected and admired coach, we are confident that he will get the best out of the players and bring a winning mindset to the Sharks. We look forward to him joining us before the start of the URC season in September.
“Although we made the playoffs of the URC and qualified for the Champions Cup, we want to be even more competitive. A strong foundation has been laid, and the time has come for us to build from this.”