Japanese club Canon Eagles confirmed that Allister Coetzee has left his role as head coach. Coetzee was in charge of Canon since 2018 after he was sacked as Springbok head coach. The club also confirmed that Coetzee’s assistant Barend Pieterse has also left.


Meanwhile, nine players will also be leaving the club. Two of those players are South Africans Fred Zeilinga and Rynier Bernardo.

With Coetzee in charge, Canon finished 12th in the 16-team Top League tournament in the 2018/2019 season. Before the 2019/2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canon were sitting in ninth spot.

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Episode 14 of the Breakdown

According to reports, former Suntory Sungoliath coach Keisuke Sawaki will take over as head coach at the Eagles. The former Japan flyhalf led the Suntory to back to back Top League titles before stepping down following the 2018-19 season.

Coetzee left the Springboks under a cloud in 2018. He reportedly received 1.8 million Rand as a golden handshake of sorts from SARU. That amounts to roughly £106,000 or €120,000 euro.

The settlement comes after a heated saga played out between Coetzee and SARU over recent weeks. A letter which Coetzee sent to SARU was ‘leaked’ and the then Springbok coach accused the union of setting him up to fail and of using underhand tactics to oust him from his position.

Coetzee won just 44 per cent of his matches as Springbok coach.


Rugby 365, additional reporting RugbyPass

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