Nollis Marais is set to become the highest paid junior and SuperSport Rugby Challenge coach in the country.
Marais started this year’s Currie Cup as Blue Bulls head coach, before being granted ‘leave’ for the remainder of the season, with executive of rugby John Mitchell taking over the coaching responsibilities for the remainder of the competition.
The Bulls recently started with a retrenchment process but Marais has avoided the axe, and according to Afrikaans newspaper Rapport, he will earn R275 000 per month in his new role which will see him as head of the union’s junior teams, as well as coach the Blue Bulls in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge.
The newspaper understands that Marais’ contract was of such a nature that it would have been too expensive to get rid of him.
Furthermore, Marais was reportedly also sent overseas in September to gain knowledge from clubs such as Munster and Saracens, with the two-week trip believed to have cost R150 000.
It is also reported that Marais’ contract was drawn up by Xander Janse van Rensburg, the union’s high performance manager, who has copped criticism for his work in recent weeks.
In an interview with Sport24, former Springbok loose forward Tim Dlulane launched a scathing attack on Janse van Rensburg, saying he was behind his recent dismissal as Bulls team manager.
“I think the fact that I didn’t get along with high performance manager Xander Janse van Rensburg had a role to play in my axing. I’m still a Blue Bull and can’t be against the brand, but Barend (van Graan, Bulls CEO) and Xander are the two individuals who wanted to get rid of me. They think they own the company, but they are only employees and their contracts will be over at some stage,” Dlulane said.
Dlulane said Janse van Rensburg played “a major role in terms of what went wrong at the Bulls over the last few seasons” and that he “created a toxic environment”.
“I believe he was the person that put my name forward for retrenchment. Barend has had to back him because he is the head of the department. Heyneke Meyer sold Xander to Barend as the messiah of recruitment. Heyneke – the former Bulls coach and director of rugby – took a liking to Xander and introduced him to Barend after the former told him that he had been following his career and wanted to learn from him.”
Barend van Graan, CEO of the Blue Bulls Company, said more clarity on Marais’ role at the union will be given in due course.