Axe hangs over Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais

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The coaching career of Nollis Marais at the beleaguered Blue Bulls could be brought to an abrupt end in the coming days with several possible replacements being touted by local media for the Super Rugby side.

Marais will likely not see out a second season in charge of the Bulls after a horror run of form for the Pretoria-based outfit in this year's competition.

He may have already have been informed of his fate after telling reporters: "I know exactly what is happening [regarding the future] as I have been in talks with the board. They will make an announcement when they feel the time is right."

That statement followed by the humiliating 51-14 thumping by their neighbours Golden Lions in their derby at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Heyneke Meyer and John Mitchell were initially touted as replacements for the former UP Tuks boss, but in recent days Irishman Bernard Jackman, who has been coaching at Grenoble in France, and Johann van Graan, who is the son of the Blue Bulls Company's managing director Barend van Graan, have been added to the list of possible new Bulls coaches.

The Bulls' holding company said last month that it had launched procedures to stem the poor performances "both on and off the field".

The Bulls have won three of their 11 games this campaign, less than the Southern Kings, who are expected to be put out of business when Super Rugby culls its ranks at the end of the campaign.

The Bulls, who have had six key players preparing with Springboks this week, host Kiwi powerhouses the Hurricanes at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.