Smal tight-lipped on Fleck’s future

Date published: July 27 2016

Western Province director of rugby Gert Smal is tight-lipped on the future of Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck.

Smal said Fleck did well in his first year as a head coach, after taking over the reins from Eddie Jones who resigned after just two weeks to coach England but wouldn’t comment when asked if Fleck will be in charge of the Stormers in 2017.

The Cape Town-based franchise won Super Rugby’s Africa 1 Conference but suffered a humiliating 60-21 defeat against the Chiefs in their quarter-final at Newlands last weekend.

And although Smal commended Fleck for his work as interim head coach, he wouldn’t reveal whether that role would be made permanent.

“We are busy with a process that will be very important for WP,” he told Netwerk24.

Smal admitted that although the Stormers did well to reach the play-offs, they must improve “technically, tactically and even our fitness levels”.

“We’ll have to change our approach in order to beat New Zealand teams,” he added.

“They beat us with pace, good skills and even with their physical onslaught.

“We can no longer just depend on how big we are. They are just as big, if not bigger. We’ll have to be smarter.”