SA Rugby delaying decision to sack Coetzee

Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)
Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - SA Rugby is reportedly seeking legal advice before removing Allister Coetzee from his post as Springbok coach.

Coetzee met with SA Rugby’s top brass on Wednesday to undergo a review process after two tumultuous seasons in charge of the national team.

There has been no official announcement from SA Rugby regarding Coetzee’s future, but the talk behind the scenes is that he will not stay on as Springbok coach.

The TimesLIVE website is reporting that SA Rugby wants to remove Coetzee from his role, but is delaying an official announcement because it wants to “fulfil every legal and moral obligation”.

The report further states that Coetzee met with Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s new director of rugby on Wednesday, and that he will be removed from his post once “all the labour law hurdles have been cleared”.

However, the official announcement regarding Coetzee’s future could only be made in the New Year.

Afrikaans website, Netwerk24, earlier this week indicated that there may be no replacement for Coetzee, with Erasmus merely appointing assistants to work under him.

Erasmus, in his new role, will have full control over Springbok team selections and game plans.

Defence guru Jacques Nienaber will be part of the coaching team, while former France prop Pieter de Villiers has been mentioned as a possible scrum coach.

Coetzee has won only 11 out of 25 Tests in charge of the Boks which gives him a meagre 44% win-record, well below his 65% mandate.  

It was earlier reported that SA Rugby would be able to remove Coetzee from his post without a so-called “golden handshake” if he failed to maintain the required 65% win-record.

After returning from the Springboks' year-end tour to Europe, where the team won two of four Tests, Coetzee said he had no intentions to resign.

He said they had made massive progress in 2017.

"I'm signed on until 2019. That's what my contract says. The team has really grown. It’s a really healthy team environment," Coetzee said earlier this month.

He added: "They (the Springbok players) are hurting at the moment. They feel that they let themselves down and the country down. You can only feel like that if you have a good team environment. That wasn't the case last year. Last year was a fiasco. Definitely a fiasco."

In 2016, the Boks won only four of 12 Tests (33.3%), while in 2017 they won seven of 13 Tests (54%).

This year was, however, blighted by record losses to New Zealand (57-0, Albany) and Ireland (38-3, Dublin).

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