Coetzee has all it takes to make Boks shine again

2016-05-25 06:00

SO who exactly is this chubby-faced fellow who goes by the name of Allister Coetzee and has been saddled with the title “new Springbok rugby coach” – in a tone that quite a few so-called experts have greeted without a great deal of enthusiasm?

Briefly he is 52 years old and not surprisingly, to go by his shortish, stocky build, is a former scrumhalf who represented the Junior Springboks at the height of his playing days in 1992.

He is arguably, in these times, the most perfectly suited candidate for the job. Grahamstown born, he is a schoolteacher by profession and first rose to prominence as Currie Cup coach of Eastern Province in 1996 and then assistant coach of the Sharks.

Soon he rose to greater prominence. In his first year in charge, his WP-based Stormers lost 25-17 to the Bulls in an historic final in Soweto. The Stormers then proceeded to win Super Rugby playoffs in four out of six consecutive seasons, and, as Western Province Coetzee’s team also won Currie Cup titles in 2012 and 2014.

He is the 13th Springbok coach since re-admission to international rugby, and SARU president, Oregon Hoskins, rates Coetzee as “the most experienced and exciting coach to take the Springbok reins since South Africa’s re-admission to World Rugby.” He’s got all that it takes to chivvy the Boks to the top of the heap once more.

Make no mistake with Ireland due to play a mini three-Test series against the Springboks in the near future, Coetzee stands on the brink of what many believe will be a new era of the game for South African rugby. Among the many hurdles standing before the Springboks at the very beginning of the Coetzee era – and certainly its most testing – will be the tricky business of transformation.

It has to be done, of course, and the sooner the better. It’s a bit of a prickly thorn but it must be faced. Cricket had much the same problem but they tackled it head-on and today the sport is much the better for it.

AND here’s a thought...In years to come you could find yourself looking back at the performance of a tall, rangy black lad from King Edwards School in Johannesburg, who scored two breathtaking tries at home to draw 32-all against Maritzburg College recently. There’s no need to mention his name – those who were there saw it clearly stamped on the Houghton grass. And don’t be surprised if in a few years from now he emerges in a Springbok No. 12 or 13 jersey. They don’t come like that too often.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.