Stick set to partner Coetzee at Boks?


That was the word from SA Rugby president Oregan Hoskins on Friday after the organisation announced that they have appointed their “preferred candidate” – most likely Allister Coetzee – after a special general council meeting at a Newlands hotel.

But as mentioned on Thursday, they will only reveal the new Bok coach and his management team at a press conference on April 12.

Following the Boks’ third-placed finish under Heyneke Meyer at last year’s World Cup in the UK, where they lost 20-18 to the All Blacks, Hoskins wants the new coach to take the team back to the top of world rugby.

“One of the members said today third place is not good enough, so I think we had to take that point on board. It was quite well made, so it is hoped that we win the World Cup in 2019. Coming third wasn’t well-received. But third is not first, and we want to be first in 2019,” the SA Rugby president said on Friday.

“It’s a new chapter, a new era. 2015 was difficult and we as an organisation really want the people to get behind the coach and the team from the get-go, so that hopefully all the blocks are in place for 2019, and that we go out there and be the No 1 team in 2019.

“I’m really looking forward to that. I think that the new coach is going to be good for South African rugby, and I also plead with you guys to help us in that regard as the media. It’s important that all stakeholders get behind the coach, as it’s not easy to be the national coach. He will be in the spotlight. I think there is a South African will for the Boks to do well.”

But before that journey can begin, the small matter of finalising the Bok team management will be concluded in the next few days. And top of the agenda is a Black African assistant coach to Coetzee, rumoured to be Mzwandile Stick.

The former Springbok Sevens star, who played fullback and wing in the 15-man game, is currently the backline coach at the Southern Kings in Super Rugby.

The 31-year-old is believed to have retired as a player in 2013 after failing to get Super Rugby game time with the Southern Kings, and he began as an assistant coach with the Eastern Province Under-21 side.

He achieved subsequent success as a head coach, guiding the EP Under-19 side to the provincial title last year before being promoted to the Super Rugby side in 2016. “(Appointing more Black African coaches) That’s one of the imperatives that we will make sure happens,” Hoskins said.

“There is a massive dearth, so we have to fast-track people, we have to hold people by the hand and ensure that it happens. And I’m confident that the people that we’ve got in mind are…

“I heard somebody coin a term in the last few days, ‘Transformation on merit’, something like that. So, while we are appointing black people to the top echelons of the management of the game, I’m really confident that the Black African person that we appoint would be up to it. The CEO (Jurie Roux) has had a very good meeting with the prospective coach and it seems like that augurs well.”

But the new Bok head coach – who will have a four-year contract – and his management team will only be unveiled on April 12, as SA Rugby are still sorting out contractual details. Hoskins, though, confirmed that the organisation’s rugby department under Rassie Erasmus have been playing an integral role in establishing some plans for the new coach to work with, which will continue going forward.

“The meeting today did decide who the new coach is, but due to a number of outstanding issues – not major issues – in terms of paperwork that needs to be done and contractual issues, issues around his club and things like that…

“We have a rugby department, so I would like to think he will hit the ground running. It’s not going to start when he starts working. They’ve been working hard from last year in terms of having a programme in place already for this year. It’s going to entail the new coach coming in and having to start anew.

“(The Bok team management members) It’s probably going to be a hybrid situation. It’s no secret that we have very important people on the payroll already, and there are people that we still have to talk to the coach about.

“There are some key back-up staff that have to be appointed in consultation with the new coach, but there are certainly people that will be there because they are part of South African rugby already (most likely to be Johann van Graan as the forwards coach).

“So, I’m happy with some of the names that management have brought to the meeting today, especially in respect of representivity, and how that whole team will look going forward from a representation point of view. It’s crucial and it’s pleasing to note.”

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Original source: Stick set to partner Coetzee at Boks?