Ex-Bok skipper calls for Coetzee’s head

Cape Town - Former national captain Wynand Claassen believes sacking Allister Coetzee as Springbok coach would be a step in the right direction for South African rugby.

A number of pundits and fans are calling for Coetzee’s head after another humiliating defeat at the weekend.

Coetzee’s Springboks lost 38-3 to Ireland in Dublin to start their year-end European tour on the worst possible note.

It was Ireland’s biggest ever win over South Africa, comfortably eclipsing the 32-15 win in Dublin in 2006.

Claassen, who played seven Tests for the Springboks between 1981 and 1982, told Netwerk24 that the problems in South African rugby cannot be solved overnight, but appointing a new coach is the way forward.

Claassen suggested that Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s new director of rugby, should be directly involved in coaching the Springboks.

“We can’t go on like this,” Claassen said, also calling for the dismissal of “amateur administrators”.

He said the administrators and managers should be replaced by former players who had also achieved success in business.

This is not the first time that Claassen has called for the dismissal of the national coach.

In 2015, Claassen and former Bok scrumhalf Divan Serfontein circulated a hard-hitting letter under a heading “Heyneke Must Fall” among dozens of former Springboks, calling for the dismissal of then-coach Heyneke Meyer.

Interestingly, when asked about a possible successor for Meyer, Claassen mentioned Coetzee as a possible candidate.

“I think there are quite a few guys. If you look at a guy like Allister Coetzee - he was the deputy coach for the Springboks for quite a long time. He was quite successful with Western Province and the Stormers. He’s got the right CV. He also played top class rugby, he played provincial rugby and for the SARU national team in those days,” Claassen said at the time.

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