Franco Smith will continue to coach the Cheetahs until October.
Smith, who will become Italy’s head coach after the World Cup, was set to leave his current post after the Currie Cup final, which the Cheetahs won 31-28 against the Golden Lions.
However, Smith’s replacement, former Maties coach Hawies Fourie, recently had surgery. Fourie will consult a specialist on 30 September but cannot work until then.
‘I feel for Hawies because I know that he would have loved to start now,’ Smith told OFM Sport.
‘From the beginning, we said that he and I would work with each other as closely as possible to make the transition as smooth as possible.
‘It is, however, an opportunity to take a bit of the continuity into the Pro14, and try and make the disruption as little as possible.
‘There is another opportunity after the first three rounds when the guys will be preparing for the first tour overseas.
‘There will be a break during that period and I think by then he will be well enough. He will probably come and join us as soon as possible and then we will hand it over to him.’