Allister Coetzee was announced as the new Head Coach of the South African national Rugby team (Springboks) on Tuesday 12th April.
The former Stormers coach is expected to change the setup of the Springbok internal system after dismal international performances this past few years. With Coetzee and his team taking the reigns, South African rugby has been injected with hope ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the various international friendlies and tournaments ahead. Although many have labeled Coetzee as a choker during his spell at the Stormers because of his lack to claim silverware and the changing of his tactics just before major games like semi-finals or the rare final he’s managed for the Stormers. This time round only time can tell what Coetzee has in store for our youthful Springbok side.
Coetzee and his team consisting of Mzwandile Stick as the backline coach, Johann van Graan as the forwards coach, Ian Swartz as the team manager, Dr Jerome Mampane and Dr Conrad von Hagen as the team doctors, Dr Warren Adams as the conditioning coach, Vivian Verwant and Tanu Pillay as the physiotherapists, JJ Fredericks as the logistics manager, media manager being Rayaan Adriaanse and Annelee Murray managing PR will try to shape the Boks into the number one rugby squad in the world. As a diverse country and this diversity being shown in the depth of the colour and culture of the backroom management of the Springboks, many believe this is just what we as a nation need to build a dominate national rugby team.
52-year-old Allister Coetzee played as a scrumhalf back in his day but made his name in the game working as an assistant for Jake White during the Springboks 2007 World Cup winning campaign. He then went on to coach the Stormers and Western Province sides and recently had a short stint in Japan coaching the Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers. Coetzee, a teacher by trade, has won the Currie Cup titles twice and made the Super Rugby play-offs four times with the Stormers. The Grahamstown born Coetzee has his sights set on the World Cup and molding a defiant Boks side, even the best will find difficult to beat.
The appointment of Allister Coetzee has brought many queries and concerns from Bok lovers saying that he’s inability to cross the finish line and obtain trophies will affect the national sides progress, while others seem to think otherwise. Most view his appointment as being one that can only improve the current Springbok side and one that will develop the current youngsters into international legends of the game.
By Kenan Williams
Grit Sports Writer