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Mallett won’t be the Sharks’ new broom

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 10 Jun 2013 at 09:23
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Well, City Press and SA Rugby Magazine have really set the cat among the pigeons over the weekend, by confirming that Nick Mallet has been “sounded out” about coaching the Sharks. Mallett, according to reports, opted to reject the approach, citing his current commitments to SuperSport as a better fit for his needs right now.

As is always the case whenever a supposed scoop like this hits the SA rugby landscape, though, each new paper and armchair pundit in turn that picks up the story has seen fit to embellish it just a little, to the extent that whatever Mallett may or may not have said appears to have been twisted out of all recognition. A nice thorny one for new Sharks CEO to solve, it would seem…

Let’s concentrate on what Mallett actually said, according to City Press. “I did have an approach from Natal,” he says, “but I’m very happy at SuperSport and want to continue what I’m doing until 2015.” I wonder if the word “approach” has somehow changed in meaning without my notice, since this reads very differently to “the Sharks offered me John Plumtree’s job”. That latter interpretation, of course, is the one that everyone seems to have assumed is the correct one. Furthermore, no mention at all was made regarding the timing of this approach either. Everyone assumes that it happened this last weekend, but it could just as well have been weeks or even months back.

The other bit of info we’re missing is who, exactly, approached Mallett. Again, the assumption is that John Smit was somehow involved, but Smit isn’t even officially in his new role yet and it’s just as likely that somebody else may have idly sounded out Mallett – along with a number of other top coaches – in order to give the new CEO an accurate picture of who might be available should he decide not to renew John Plumtree’s contract at the end of October. Hell, it could have been random people on Twitter “approaching Mallett about coaching the Sharks”, for all we know – goodness knows I’ve seen enough of those.

Whatever the truth of the matter, two things are plain. The first is that the Sharks are clearly looking at other options in terms of coaching, as one would expect them to do given the recent results and given that their coach’s contract is ending soon anyway. That’s not to say that John Plumtree himself isn’t one of those options and I’m sure Smit and the other stakeholders will give Plumtree every opportunity to explain why he should be the man to take the Sharks forward.

The other is that Nick Mallett isn’t in the running. This might come as a bitter blow to some, but I’ve known for some time that he hasn’t been interested in the job for exactly the reasons cited – and have mentioned this before – so it really shouldn’t be much of a surprise.


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