Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee admits he has made mistakes, but not ever on purpose or because he “doesn’t know what is going on.”
“Hindsight is a perfect science and everytime I do make the selections, I make sure it is for the Springbok team versus the opposition and the plan we have. Somewhere on this tour I had to give Warrick Gelant an opportunity, and he did that on attack. The try he scored with his blistering pace, with the counter attack opportunity, that is what he brings to the team. And if not now, when? That was an outside-the-window test. A player like Dan du Preez, when would you be able to give a player like Dan du Preez an opportunity?
“It is great that these players have come through like Wilco Louw, Lukhanyo Am. Unfortunately I would have liked to see more of Lukhanyo Am but the little bit I’ve seen, Louis Schreuder has also shown glimpses. There are positions in this Springbok team that might not be world class now, but players will develop into that World class mode. You can see that last year, when Malcolm Marx got the opportunity, and we brought Steven Kitshoff back. Those are two of the 11 last year regularly, world class players immediately.
“Bongi Mbonambi was excellent this tour and showed our second hooker is with Malcolm, there is good rivalry there,” he said.
Coetzee added that his plan will still ensure the target of 50 percent is reached before the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
“Obviously with all the selections in the world, I’ve got in my contract, I’ve got to make sure that we’ve agreed on a transformation plan that has been agreed and to abide at what has been signed and accepted by the government. With all these changes, yes, you will make a mistake or two, but there are reasons why it is made. It is not made because I don’t know what is going on. I understand what is going on and I understand the bigger picture, if you look at two years down the line and you have to go to the World Cup and have 50 percent representation.
“Where do you think I can go buy that, I can’t go buy that, I need to give the players opportunity to feel comfortable at international level and to compete and that is where we are. We can’t make as if this doesn’t exist. There have been agreements and this is what I am adhering to and that is stipulated in my contract.”
Coetzee will face a review after the past tour, and on his performance record over the two years in charge in the next week at the SA Rugby headquarters.
He completely avoids why he plays players out of their specialised position. I get the rest, but he seems to have forgotten about the games before France. I see the article mentions that the review is next week, but SARU is hardly transparent.
Springbok flank Siya Kolisi was named SA Players' Player of the Year at the Players Choice Awards on Tuesday night.
Rosko Specman, Warren Whiteley and Makazole Mapimpi were also nominated for the award.
Kolisi played 12 Tests for the Boks in 2017, missing just one match when he was on paternity leave. He was the team's vice-captain and captained the Stormers in Super Rugby.
Kolisi has also been nominated for SA Rugby's Player of the Year award, along with Malcolm Marx, Eben Etzebeth, Jaco Kriel and Jan Serfontein.
Players' Choice Awards winners:
Players' Player of the Year: Siya Kolisi
Backline Player of the Year: Rosko Specman
Forward Player of the Year: Siya Kolisi
Fans' Choice award: Francois Venter
Defender of the Year: Malcolm Marx
Best off the Bench award: Steven Kitshoff
LoveChange award: Makazole Mapimpi
I wonder what is going on though, because according to SARU Coetzee had to meet certain obligations as per contractual agreement, now in every interview with Coetzee he has been standing headstrong as the SA head coach going into RWC 2019.
Cape Town - SA Rugby is reportedly seeking legal advice before removing Allister Coetzee from his post as Springbok coach.
Coetzee met with SA Rugby’s top brass on Wednesday to undergo a review process after two tumultuous seasons in charge of the national team.
There has been no official announcement from SA Rugby regarding Coetzee’s future, but the talk behind the scenes is that he will not stay on as Springbok coach.
The TimesLIVE website is reporting that SA Rugby wants to remove Coetzee from his role, but is delaying an official announcement because it wants to “fulfil every legal and moral obligation”.
The report further states that Coetzee met with Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s new director of rugby on Wednesday, and that he will be removed from his post once “all the labour law hurdles have been cleared”.
However, the official announcement regarding Coetzee’s future could only be made in the New Year.
Afrikaans website, Netwerk24, earlier this week indicated that there may be no replacement for Coetzee, with Erasmus merely appointing assistants to work under him.
Coetzee has won only 11 out of 25 Tests in charge of the Boks which gives him a meagre 44% win-record, well below his 65% mandate.
It was earlier reported that SA Rugby would be able to remove Coetzee from his post without a so-called “golden handshake” if he failed to maintain the required 65% win-record.
After returning from the Springboks' year-end tour to Europe, where the team won two of four Tests, Coetzee said he had no intentions to resign.
He said they had made massive progress in 2017.
"I'm signed on until 2019. That's what my contract says. The team has really grown. It’s a really healthy team environment," Coetzee said earlier this month.
He added: "They (the Springbok players) are hurting at the moment. They feel that they let themselves down and the country down. You can only feel like that if you have a good team environment. That wasn't the case last year. Last year was a fiasco. Definitely a fiasco."
I don’t think the public really knows the true contractual agreement SARU has with Coetzee. Then, also, it is hard to see a working relationship between Erasmus and Coetzee and that some roles and responsibilities in both their contracts may be the same and will clash (and crash) in the managerial structure.
This may be the very reason they 'subtly' want to pursue legal means to resolve this issue they may have.
Clearly Coetzee believes that he deserves to be head coach.
SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux admits it is becoming increasingly difficult to compete at international level as a result of the player exodus overseas.
In an interview with Rugby World magazine, Roux highlighted the challenges faced in South African rugby due to the ever-increasing player drain.
‘Last year we had 373 players playing in European club competitions. Any other country that loses that amount of players cannot compete on a national level. Take 373 players out of New Zealand, Australia, England, Ireland, France – see if they compete. It would be tough. We have the proof.’
Just this year alone, SA Rugby bid farewell to talented players such as Cobus Reinach, Ruan Ackermann, Faf de Klerk, Cheslin Kolbe and Jan Serfontein, and Roux admitted it was a major concern to see more and more youngsters heading abroad.
‘They are becoming younger. People are coming to our youth weeks, our Craven Weeks – our U18, aspirational tournaments. They are recruiting them at U18. The list [of talent leaving] is getting longer.’
Another factor in South Africa rugby is the role of player agents, who understandably have to look out for their clients, but at times find themselves at loggerheads with the national body.