In the advent of Springboks dismal performances SA Rugby Board must fire Jurie Roux before removing Allister Coetzee – Writes James Smith
This must not be construed as a defence for Allister Coetzee, as defending monumental mediocrity at the expense of historical excellence of the Springboks would be tantamount to chopping ones nose to spite ones face.
However the drop in Springbok standards precede Allister’s tenure and can be traced back to the dismissal of Peter De Villiers who just so happens to have the most successful record against New Zealand as a springbok coach.
At each step during the steady decline of the Springboks fortunes, South African Rugby has followed a simple principle, and that is the head coach must be replaced in trying to reverse misfortunes.
The continued replacement of coaches from Peter De Villiers in 2011 to Heyneke Meyer in 2015 was followed by a host of views which focused on the former’s inability to articulate himself and Meyer’s dismal transformation record.
Allister’s perpetual fall from grace brings with it a watershed moment when the mist of terrible results, failed transformation and failed world bids have been removed from our eyes and all that remains are the dark clouds of rugby administration of SA Rugby.
If we were to follow the principles set by the administration itself in blaming the head of coaching then it must be said the fault sits squarely on Jurie Roux’s shoulders.
The fundamental difference however is that the said springbok coaches came into the fold with outstanding records as opposed to Roux who came into the fold with question marks over his head as to why he was appointed in the first place.
This as Roux was caught with his hands in the cookie jar during his time at Stellenbosch University and was alleged to have ‘manipulated’ financial management systems to favour the rugby programme during his time at Maties between 2002 and 2010.
Notwithstanding the fact that calls for Roux to step down precede even Allister’s tenure. South African Rugby presidency and Minister of sport (Fikile Mbalula at the time) have both stood idle despite the calls for action to be taken against the CEO.
Roux’s record at the helm has seen Springbok rugby hit new lows, with no tangible achievements to speak of and more questions having arisen.
In losing the bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023, Rugby Africa’s own two votes went to eventual winners France and considering the fact that the Africa confederation have their headquarters in the same building in Cape Town as SA Rugby, leaves us wondering how this could have happened.
SA Rugby set their own transformation targets within the transformation charter and they have failed to meet them at all levels and this is despite an overwhelming number of deserving candidates putting their hands up from across all levels of springbok rugby.
Peter De Villiers’ record speaks for itself having been unable to get a meaningful job in this country post his stint with the Springboks. Pieter de Villiers had alleged that Jurie Roux asked for his name to be removed from the Boland list of coaching candidates.
However, Chean Roux who is the former Bok defence coach and is allegedly related to SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux, who was the head coach at Stellenbosch when Jurie Roux was Head of Sports at the time when there were allegations of financial irregularities at the institutions and yet he managed to get a job with the Springboks.
That being said, that is passed and it has happened however what can we look forward to in future under this leadership. Well it has been confirmed that South African Rugby will bring in Rassie Erasmus as the director of rugby which will render Coetzee a puppet. So SA Rugby Administration won’t dismiss Coetzee but will rather demote him, instead of bringing in Erasmus to drink from the poisoned chalice by taking up the coaching role.
With Graeme Joffe having fled the country after continuous threats from unknown sources after revealing corruption surrounding Jurie Roux, it comes as no surprise that the Rugby Unions and South African media are mum when it comes to calling for Roux’s head to fall over the administrations dismal leadership.
With all these unanswered questions, one thing is clear and that is an overhaul of rugby administration is required and Mark Alexander, SA Rugby President must act now before fingers are pointing towards him.