Saru split over Coetzee as Bok coach


The Afrikaans media reported over the weekend that Coetzee, who is still regarded as the front-runner, could be challenged for the Bok post by current Saru employee Rassie Erasmus, who is the general manager for high performance.

Other possibilities mentioned as possible candidates include Lions boss Johan Ackermann, former Sharks coach John Plumtree. Ex-All Blacks mentor Wayne Smith’s name has been bandied about previously, and now Brendan Venter and Dawie Theron could be considered as well.

It is believed that the 14 provincial presidents and their deputies who make up the Saru General Council that will appoint the next coach are concerned about Coetzee’s ability to take the Boks to the All Blacks’ level.

This comes after the General Council meeting in Cape Town last Friday, where the Bok post was set to be discussed. Saru president Oregan Hoskins did say at a recent press conference that a foreigner can be considered and that the national body were going to “take their time” in making the right choice.

Under Heyneke Meyer, the South Africans won just one out of eight Test matches against the world champions, and there is a desperate need to make the Boks competitive and beat the New Zealanders regularly again.

It is understood that there is also uneasiness about Coetzee’s conservative game-plan when he was in charge of the Stormers from 2010 to 2015. Although the Cape Super Rugby franchise reached a final and two semi-finals, they seldom scored many tries and played a percentage game based around a powerful defence and a physical pack of forwards.

But Coetzee does have a strong transformation record, having often had more than three black players in his starting line-up over the years.

Erasmus is regarded as a master tactician, but the pressure of being a head coach in South Africa took its toll on him as the former loose forward handed the Stormers reins to Coetzee before the 2010 season to become the WP director of rugby.

African News Agency

Original source: Saru split over Coetzee as Bok coach