NEW COACH FOR CASTLE PARK

RUGBY UNION SOUTH African international star Pieter Muller has been chosen as the man to lead ambitious Doncaster RFC towards the Premiership, writes Peter Catt.

Muller, capped 33 times for South Africa, was appointed the club's new director of rugby this week to replace Welsh coach Kingsley Jones following an exhaustive process carried out in secret.

The club had several outstanding applicants and interviews were carried out away from Castle Park to ensure news of the candidates did not leak out.

But after sifting through a number of high quality applicants Muller was chosen as the man to lead the National Two club forward with promotion in the coming season the immediate aim.

Muller was playing top level rugby for Cardiff last season where he was rated one of the best overseas players to play professional rugby in Wales.

The 35-year-old Springbok centre played in the 1999 World Cup and has also represented the Barbarians five times.

He spent the 1996 season with Australian rugby league side Penrith Panthers and the following year had a season in France with Toulouse before returning to South Africa to play for Natal.

Muller joined Cardiff in four years ago and has played for them over 80 times.

He has passed Welsh rugby union coaching levels 1 and 2 and assisted coaching Cardiff Under 19s and Under 21s as well as working with the Wales Under 19 and Elite squads, and the Wales A squad.

The new coach will join Doncaster full time once his commitments in Cardiff are concluded during the summer but will be available immediately for pre-season coaching and fitness sessions starting tonight.

He also intends to continue playing for at least another season.

Doncaster chief executive John Lowe said: "It has taken longer than expected to make this appointment but the club was determined to appoint the right man to convert our ambitions into reality."