Coetzee ready to shape Boks for Irish Tests

2016-04-13 12:15
Allister Coetzee smiles during a press conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. Allister Coetzee has been confirmed as Springbok rugby coach and has been given a four-year contract to take the national team past the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Allister Coetzee smiles during a press conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. Allister Coetzee has been confirmed as Springbok rugby coach and has been given a four-year contract to take the national team past the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. (AP)

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Coetzee's Bok captain could very well be a Stormer - analyst

2016-04-12 17:15

Sport24's chief rugby writer Rob Houwing weighs in on who the next Springbok captain might be, following the announcement of the new Springbok coaching team. Watch. WATCH

Pietermaritzburg - He has walked the walk and is the best man for the job, SA Rugby boss Oregan Hoskins said yesterday when he finally rubber-stamped Allistair Coetzee’s appointment as the new Springbok coach.

The public announcement came 11 days after the SA Rugby Union’s general council had ratified Coetzee’s appointment on April 1 but it was “kept secret” because he was still contracted to the Japanese club Kobe. He will be in charge of the Springboks until the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Hoskins said he was “personally excited and had goosebumps” at making the public announcement, but it has taken SA Rugby five months to settle on a replacement for Heyenke Meyer and leaves the new coach with just nine weeks to find his feet and mould a team capable of downing the touring Irish in three Tests in June.

But Coetzee is enthusiastic about the challenge and said he was extremely honoured and humbled to coach the Springboks.

“This job comes with a huge amount of responsibility because our passionate fans rightfully demand the best from the Springboks at all times,” said Coetzee at his first media briefing in Randburg on Wednesday.

“Rugby ignites so much passion in our country. The team inspires all our people. I know full well that coaching the Springboks requires a lot of dedication, patience and hard work. I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity.”

The 52-year-old Coetzee has a wealth of coaching experience. He was on the coaching staff for the Springboks in 66 matches in 2000 and between 2004 and 2007 while he also enjoyed success with Western Province in the Currie Cup and led the Stormers to three South African Conference titles.

SA Rugby have set him the goal of fielding a Springbok squad with 50% black representation by 2019 but Coetzee said transformation would not be an issue.

“This is South Africa and we face unique challenges. Transformation will make us stronger and I see it as an exciting challenge.

“Selection for the Springboks will always be merit-based but both Western Province and the Stormers have shown they can do well with transformed teams.”

Hoskins said that Coetzee’s appointment was a watershed moment for South African rugby “with new players developing alongside a spine of experience and it was the right time to have a new man guiding the Springboks for the foreseeable future.

“Allister was the outstanding candidate in terms of his rugby credentials, his understanding of our unique South African transformation imperatives and also in the image he will present as Springbok coach,” Hoskins said.

“I am delighted to welcome him back into the Springbok fold,” the Saru president said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  boks

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