The Golden Lions have parted company with head coach ‘Loffie’ Eloff just a week before their clash with their namesakes from Britain and Ireland.
Eloff paid the price for three poor seasons of Super 14 rugby, with the Lions finishing 12th in the standings in 2007 and 2009 and last in 2008.
The Golden Lions Rugby Union invited World Cup winning coach Jake White’s Winning Ways (Pty) Ltd to carry out an audit into the system and structures within the Union, from which it was recommended that immediate changes needed to be made.
Those immediate changes have seen Eloff removed from his position, with Hans Coetzee taking temporary charge of the side in the lead up to next Wednesday’s clash with Ian McGeechan’s tourists in Johannesburg.
"A meeting was held with Mr. Eugene Eloff, and he was asked to stand down as the senior team head coach with immediate effect. Mr. Eloff will be re-deployed within the structures of the GLRU," said a Golden Lions statement.
"In the interim, Mr Hans Coetzee will take over the reins of head coach.
"Mr Coetzee is a vastly experienced coach who has been in rugby coaching for more than 20 years, during which time he coached, amongst others, the Monument High 1st team for 18 years, the Lions’ Craven week team for 8 years as well as SA Academy and SA Schools teams.
"The GLRU is confident that by initiating these corrective measures now and in conjunction with the ongoing audit being conducted by Jake White’s company, that we will in due course again become a competitive force in all rugby competitions."
The Golden Lions will be the second team to play the 2009 British & Irish Lions following Saturday’s game against a Royal XV in Phokeng.