The chips might not have fallen Gert Smal’s way this time around but the former Springbok assistant coach and current Irish forwards coach has not ruled out the possibility of coaching the Springboks in future.
Forwards coach Gert Smal insists he if fully committed to Ireland’s forthcoming Six Nations campaign but the South African still harbours an ambition to take charge of the Springboks.
Smal, who served as an assistant to former Boks boss Jake White between 2004 and 2007, was considered one of the favourites to succeed Peter de Villiers as South Africa coach in the wake of a disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign but has seen Heyneke Meyer handed the job on a four-year deal.
Ireland coach Declan Kidney revealed yesterday that his assistant would be honouring his current contract with the Irish Rugby Football Union, that runs until 2013, and Smal himself has since expressed his gratitude at being linked with the Boks post.
“I was deeply honoured to be linked to the position of head coach for the Springbok team and having being involved with the team before, it was obviously something that I would have thought about very carefully,” he said in a statement. “A big part of that consideration would be my connection to the Ireland team as well as my desire to see out my contract as I am very happy here.
“Declan and the IRFU showed great faith in bringing me here and it has been a wonderful experience from a professional point of view, as well as for my family. There is still such great potential and opportunities for the Ireland team and I have great faith in the players that we can achieve things together with the coaching staff.
“I have not given up on the possibility of coaching my country in the future, but my focus now is on Ireland and on our first game in The RBS 6 Nations Championship.”