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SA Rugby seek legal advice to remove Coetzee

By Peteso Cannon
Writing on the wall for Coetzee

The immediate future for Allister Coetzee doesn’t look particularly bright today after it was reported that SA Rugby sought legal advice before formerly removing the head coach from his role.

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After two tumultuous and painful seasons in charge, Coetzee met with a review committee on Wednesday to defend his position.

While there has been no official word from SA Rugby as of yet, behind the scenes there is an understanding that he will not be continuing in his role as Springbok coach.

According to TimesLIVE the decision has effectively been made by SA Rugby but they are seeking legal advice before removing Coetzee to make sure “all the labour law hurdles have been cleared”.

Whether it has anything to do with the so-called ‘golden handshake,’ that would see Coetzee walk away as a very rich man is unclear, with rumblings earlier in the year that SA Rugby may not have to fork out huge sums of money to remove him if his win ratio was below 65%.

There will also be no final decision on the future of Allister Coetzee made until at least the New Year.

In a statement, SA Rugby revealed it “will not be in a position to respond to questions regarding that speculation on the coaching of the national team until the New Year”.

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There is also speculation that Coetzee will not even need to be removed from his role, as Erasmus will have full control over team selection and gameplans, meaning he would just hire Coatzee’s assistants, making him a lame duck for all intents and purposes.

However, this would ultimately create a lack of cohesion within the Springbok team dynamic, so it’s unlikely they will go this way.

In public Coetzee has been firmly sticking to his guns, claiming that the Boks 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,” he stated earlier in the month.

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“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.”

The emphasis appears to be clearly on the players and the use of the word ‘they’ would seem to deflect from any introspective thought or personal responsibility, which is an aspect of his tenure that both the media and Springbok fans have taken umbrage to.

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Shaylen 7 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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