Naming of the Springbok coach delayed

by Craig Ray, 01 April 2016, 05:00


Stormers coach Allister Coetzee. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Allister Coetzee during the DHL Stormers press conference in Cape Town on Thursday. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Meyer attempted briefly to change the Boks’ approach between 2012 and 2015 and had some success
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THE identity of the next Springbok coach will not immediately be revealed after Friday’s SA Rugby general council meeting here as originally scheduled.
The name of the preferred candidate of SA Rugby (formerly known as the South African Rugby Union) will be put
to the council and ratified. It is understood some paperwork needs to be completed, which has taken longer than planned, but the appointment is not in
jeopardy. The naming will take place next week.
SA Rugby have not divulged the name of their preferred candidate, but Business Day has learned that former Stormers boss Allister Coetzee is the man for the job.
Coetzee, 52, is contracted to Japanese club Kobe Kobelco Steel ers. SA Rugby and the club need to agree on a transfer fee.
Coetzee took the Stormers to the Super Rugby play-offs four times in six seasons in charge, which included the 2010 final.
He favoured a defence-based game, which has drawn some criticism from those who feel the Springboks need to evolve their conservative approach. Under Coetzee’s predecessor, Heyneke Meyer, the Boks did little more than tackle and survive off turnovers by the end of last year.
Meyer attempted briefly to change the Boks’ approach during his tenure between 2012 and 2015 and had some success, particularly in 2013 when they scored 47 tries in 12 internationals. That run included four against the Wallabies during a record 38-12 win in Brisbane and four against the All Blacks in a losing effort at Ellis Park.
But he increasingly moved away from a more expansive approach until the Boks became little more than a defence-first team.
For the Springboks to close the widening gap on world champions New Zealand, the new coach will have to find ways of creating try-scoring opportunities.
Coetzee, stereotyped as a risk-averse coach, will have to embrace that challenge. But he is well liked and respected within the local rugby fraternity, which will allow him licence to experiment.
Former Bok skipper Fourie du Preez is an unexpected supporter of Coetzee as coach.
“I don’t know who the new coach will be, but I read in the media it’s going to be Allister (Coetzee),” Du Preez said.
“The delay in naming the coach is not great for our rugby, but if it is Allister, it will be good for SA.
“When Allister was Bok assistant coach under Jake White ( 2004-07) we got on well. He is one of the most knowledgeable backs coaches I have worked with.
“What I hear from the Stormers guys is also good. He is a great people person and I think he will be a good choice.”
Before the formal general council meeting today, an extraordinary general council meeting will take place at which presidents from at least 12 of SA’s 14 unions will seek clarity from the executive council over CE Jurie Roux’s position.
Roux is facing a lawsuit from the University of Stellenbosch for the alleged misuse of Maties Rugby Club funds for the period 2002-2010 when he was chairman.
The executive council sought labour law opinion from senior counsel and has backed Roux based on the advice received and pending the outcome of his dispute with Maties.
But, disgruntled presidents believe they are owed a better explanation than this.
Although not formally on the agenda, the issue of EP Rugby’s provisional liquidation will also come under discussion.