Naka Drotske retires as Cheetahs coach

Drotske cited personal reasons for leaving the club despite his contract expiring next year.

FILE: Super Rugby match ball. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Cheetahs today announced the news that coach Naka Drotske has retired and will be stepping down at the end of the current Super 15 as coach of the Cheetahs, the statement said.

Drotske cited personal reasons for leaving the club despite his contract expiring next year.

"I have already, after I've signed these contracts in April informed Mr Ryno Opperman the chairman of the Cheetahs that this S15 will be my last as coach of the Cheetahs.

"It is not ideal to make this announcement in the middle of the current S15 season but unfortunately some of the information leaked to the media and the wrong message based on sensation and lies were sent out to the public. This left us with no choice but to make the announcement as early as possible with the correct facts."

Rumours and media reports were rife that Cheetahs were due to sack Drotske after series of poor performance.

"I apologise to my players and management that I could not discuss the situation with them first and that they have to learn about this in the media. We are currently in a bye week and I will explain the situation to them in person when we get together on Monday."

Meanwhile, Franco Smith has been announced as the new head coach of the Cheetahs for Currie Cup and he will take over as head coach of the Toyota Cheetahs for Super Rugby.

His operations for the 2016 Super Rugby tournament will start on 1 November 2015. He is appointed for a four-year term.

"We wish Franco Smith the best of luck with his new role and look forward to a new era in Cheetah Rugby with Franco and his coaching team for the next four years," the statement read.