Springboks

Coetzee: Last year 'dead and buried'

Allister Coetzee (Gallo)
Allister Coetzee (Gallo)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee is not wasting any more time looking back on the failures of last year as he prepares his side for three Tests against France this month. 

Coetzee, in his first year in charge, guided the Boks to just four wins out of 12 in 2016. 

He is looking to put that record right this year, and the first hurdle is a tricky series against the French for a Bok side that has slipped to No 7 in the world under Coetzee. 

The coach has pointed to player preparation as the biggest difference between this year and last. 

"There is a massive difference from last year to this year. I don’t want to go back into last year … that’s dead and buried," Coetzee said at a Bok media briefing on Monday.

"We’ve moved on. I had no December holiday, to be honest with you, and that’s where it (the planning) started.

"I had to make sure that we would be better off in terms of our management team and I’m happy with the coaching team that we have at the moment.

"I’m also happy that we were able to have training camps. We’ve had three training camps and then obviously the week in Plettenberg Bay."

Coetzee also says it has helped that, this time around, he knows exactly where he stands on the selection of overseas-based players. 

SA Rugby has implemented a policy that will only allow Boks who have 30 or more Test caps to be available for selection. 

That policy kicks in from July 1 onwards, after the France series, and will be lifted in 2019. 

"Last year I didn’t know where I sat with the overseas players, but this year I know exactly where I sit with them," Coetzee said.

"The preparation and the time for preparation is the biggest difference, therefore I can be a bit more excited about where we’re taking the team to."

The first Test against France takes place this Saturday at Loftus Versfeld.

Kick-off is at 17:05.

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