Neil Powell with Sean Everitt at the Sharks. Photo: Twitter

Outgoing Blitzboks coach Powell promoted to major new role at the Sharks

Neil Powell, the highly successful Blitzboks coach, will take on the role of the Sharks’ Director of Rugby from this September.


Neil Powell with Sean Everitt at the Sharks. Photo: Twitter

In the middle of last year, the Sharks confirmed the appointment of outgoing Blitzboks coach Neil Powell for the inaugural United Rugby Championship. He was set to formally take over as defence coach in 2022 after the Sevens World Cup, but arrived in Durban this past week to spend a brief spell with the Sharks before making the permanent move.

In a new development announced on Sunday, the Sharks revealed that Powell would instead become the franchise’s director of rugby which “has been implemented to ensure sustainable success and provide the best and most effective support structure for Sean Everitt, Etienne Fynn and their coaching teams to best perform in the respective United Rugby Championship and Carling Currie Cup competitions”.

The Sharks’ statement can be found below:

Commenting on the appointment, Coetzee explained, “Neil is an unbelievable human being and what he has developed and achieved with the Blitzboks has been phenomenal. He has inculcated a strong work ethic and a sound culture at the Blitzboks where accountability and respect is at the fore.

“As Director of Rugby at The Sharks, Neil will oversee our entire on-field rugby programme and will support the various coaching teams within our set-up. He will be responsible for driving on-field high performance, team culture, standards and will ensure that there is a thorough process and a blueprint developed to achieve sustainable success at the highest level.

“Sean Everitt remains as head coach of the senior team and Sean will benefit from Neil’s experience, guidance and support as well as the operational structures that Neil will implement to ensure an optimal high performance working environment, which in turn drives performance on the field.”

Having built a tight-knit squad at the Sevens, creating a well-oiled machine that has enjoyed great success on the international circuit, it is envisaged that Powell will add his unique style, vast knowledge and extensive experience of driving a culture of accountability to what is already in place at The Sharks and help to make this the best performing rugby structure.

“After a nine-year stint with the Blitzboks this is a new challenge for my personal development and an exciting opportunity that has been presented to me that I gladly accept with great honour,” stated Neil Powell. “The Sharks is an unbelievable brand and I’m looking forward to working with the likes of Ed and Sean, who already have a strong vision of where they want to go in the future and if I can contribute in any way to achieving that vision that would be great.”

“I am looking forward to the challenge and how I can positively contribute to making this franchise hugely successful not just in South Africa, but globally as well.  This will be a collective effort by every person involved in the set-up.”

Coetzee added, “This is a hugely exciting time for The Sharks and will ensure that everyone is aligned in terms of our vision moving forward. I’m extremely positive about this development, and Neil has my full support as well as the support of The Sharks board and ownership group.


Powell will join the Sharks with vast experience as one of the most successful sevens coaches of all time