That was the word from Saru president Oregan Hoskins on Friday afternoon.
Speaking at a press conference at Saru House in Plattekloof on Friday, Hoskins said that the union would look at all possibilities in identifying a replacement for Heyneke Meyer, who ruled himself out of the running to continue as the Bok coach on Thursday.
The Saru General Council are set to meet next Friday, December 11 to discuss who the new coach should be. Hoskins said that a final decision may not be made on the day as the union’s leadership are going to “take our time”, but it is understood that the new coach will be announced on the Friday.
When asked if Saru would look at appointing a foreigner, Hoskins said: “Yes. A foreigner is an option. We shouldn’t rule out anyone. We want best for South Africa, so we have to consider all the possibilities.
“There were 13 foreign coaches in charge at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, that’s the way things are going in rugby.”
Former All Blacks boss Wayne Smith has been mentioned as an outside bet to take over from Meyer, while other foreign candidates may include fellow Kiwis John Mitchell and John Plumtree.
But the firm favourite is Coetzee, who has a wealth of experience at the highest level, having been the Bok assistant to Jake White and the head coach of the Stormers.
Several reports have listed the 52-year-old former scrumhalf as the man who will take over from Meyer, but on Friday, Hoskins denied that Saru had already chosen their new Bok coach.
“Coming to Cape Town (on Thursday), I am reading everywhere that Allister Coetzee has been appointed as the Bok coach. Where do you get that from? I don’t know about that,” he said.
Hoskins said that the Saru leadership weren’t surprised that Meyer had chosen not to avail himself after a meeting that included chief executive Jurie Roux.
The Saru president added that transformation was one of the main topics of the meeting, and Hoskins made it clear that the new coach would have to fully adhere to the union’s policy.
“For the next four years up to the Rugby World Cup, transformation will be key for us. We signed an agreement with Sascoc and the government. Since Peter de Villiers became Bok coach, it has been Saru’s policy that the leadership doesn’t interfere in team selection. But we might have to look at that,” Hoskins said.
“It’s very difficult to have Saru interfering in team selection. If Saru policy is not implemented, then we would address that discreetly and find solutions. Anybody applying for Bok coach needs to know transformation is at the top of agenda – otherwise don’t apply.”
Hoskins also criticised the provincial unions for not doing enough to bring through black players for the Bok coach to consider for selection. “Provinces are not doing enough to produce black players. We’ve reached a crisis point. Provinces must come to the party,” he said.
“Cosatu will say I must be fired, but then if I have to walk the plank, the provincial presidents will have to walk behind me too.”
* For more on this story, read the Weekend Argus on Saturday.
Original source: Foreign Bok coach will be considered