Allister Coetzee has officially parted ways with Springbok rugby after an announcement by SA Rugby Ceo Jurie Roux today. The worst-kept secret in South African rugby will no doubt be revealed soon too, as everyone speculates about who will become head coach.
SA Rugby announced on Friday that it had reached an agreement with Coetzee to part ways with immediate effect. This follows a record of just 11 wins from 25 Tests (44%) in the last two years.
Coetzee was admittedly thrown in at the deep end, but his selections and the performances to date have meant that his tenure coming to an end was inevitable.
Former Springbok flanker and Cheetahs and Munster coach Rassie Erasmus will take over as Springbok coach, however, SA Rugby are not prepared to make that official publicly just yet. Erasmus is currently in the Director of Rugby role.
“The Rugby Department of SA Rugby will manage the responsibilities of the Springbok coach, until the national team’s coaching and management group for 2018 is confirmed later this month,” said a statement today.
“I have always held Springbok rugby dear to my heart and will continue to do so and for that reason I think now is the time the team and me strike out in new directions,” said Coetzee, after the two parties ‘agreed to terminate the relationship after a two-year association’.
“I wish Springbok rugby every success in the future – as I have always done.”
Erasmus said this week that planning has been taking place as per normal.
“We are ranked sixth in the world‚ so my immediate focus and the big ticket is to fix things as soon as possible. All of us want things to be in place as soon as possible‚ but I don’t see it as a massive problem.
“I can take you back to 2012 when Heyneke (Meyer) was appointed and we (the Rugby Department) did all the planning. A lot of the support staff were only confirmed shortly before the start of that first test series‚ and we beat England in that series. It was the same with Allister two years ago‚ and we beat Ireland 2-1.
“So there has been planning going on behind the scenes‚ and of course we want to get that clarity‚ but there is a process that has to run its course. However‚ it’s not hindering us in the background and it isn’t affecting my role as director of rugby‚ which is to ensure that we are as well prepared as possible to be able to beat England in that first test series.”
Confirmation of the Springbok management set-up will be revealed before the end of the month.