The Toyota Cheetahs on Thursday unveiled former University of Stellenbosch coach Hawies Fourie as the man who will take over the reins at the Free State team as head coach.

The former backline coach of the Cheetahs penned a four-year contract with the side and is set to start his duties from the 1st of September when he replaces current coach Franco Smith who leaves to coach Italy national team from next year.

Smith will coach the side in the upcoming Currie Cup next month while Fourie will lead the team in the Guinness Pro 14 from September.

Cheetahs managing director Harold Vester explains.

Fourie will start off as an observer and will not be directly involved in coaching until September.

While at Maties the 50-year-old won the Varsity Cup twice with the side in 2018 and earlier this year in April.

His time at the Cheetahs was between 2008 and 2015 where he coached, back, attach and kicking. Fourie who has been head coach at Maties for the past four years shares his thoughts on returning to the Cheetahs.

Fourie who played as a fly-half, centre and full back in his playing days says he has always wanted to lead the Cheetahs. – Report by Tshenolo Meruti