Coetzee and his management team spent a few hours with Johan Ackermann and his charges this week and captain Warren Whiteley said yesterday his first impressions of Coetzee were “awesome”.
“He’s a real people’s person and is very cheerful,” said Whiteley who, along with the likes of Duane Vermeulen, Francois Louw and Juan de Jongh, is in the running to be the next Springbok captain.
“It was exciting to have the new coach visit us - and I know the players all appreciated it. He greeted everyone by name and to come here, to go out of his way, he didn’t have to do that - that was good.”
Whiteley said all the players were excited about the Boks going into a new era with a new man in charge.
Coach Ackermann, too, said it was a “great” meeting. “Allister’s a great guy and I think the players enjoyed the fact he met with all of them, the whole group, and not just a select few.
“They all now know what his expectations are, they know how he thinks about attack and defence, the breakdown and so on - and no player can in future run on to the field and say, ‘I don’t know what to do to get a look in’.”
There was also praise for Ackermann and his charges from the new Bok boss. “From a coaching point of view, he said he’s satisfied with the way the Lions are playing, and that’s nice to hear,” said Ackermann.
“Hopefully, we’ll have some players putting up their hands for selection.”
Coetzee is expected to announce his first Bok squad on May 28 ahead of the three-Test series against Ireland in June. - The Star
Original source: Lions excited after Bok coach’s visit