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What's next for Allister Coetzee

By Peteso Cannon
Coetzee on his last legs

Allister Coetzee looks set to learn his fate this week as SA Rugby’s executive council meet to conduct a review of the Springboks 2017 season.


Coetzee’s tenure started after the 2015 Rugby World Cup and has been blighted by a number of South Africa’s heaviest and most humiliating defeats.

The former teacher has overseen his counties greatest ever defeat in Albany, losing by 57 points to the All Blacks and their recent 38-3 hammering at the hands of Ireland in early November.

The executive council met last week with Coetzee’s position not on the agenda, however that will change this week as Rassie Erasmus and the technical committee asses the current state of Springbok rugby.

Since the curtain came down on their rather unsuccessful November tour, Coetzee has managed to stay remarkably upbeat considering the Boks have won just seven out of a possible thirteen matches.

“The team has really grown and there is a lot of improvement, and it’s a really healthy team environment,” said Coetzee.

“Last year we didn’t win a game on tour and [this year] we’ve won two, so there’s progress.”


To say 2017 went well by comparison to 2016 doesn’t hold much water when you consider in 2016 Coetzee and the Springboks managed a meager four wins from twelve, leaving him with a 44% win ratio over the course of his two years in charge.

This week the 54-year-old will get the opportunity to make a case for his continued stay in his current roll as head coach.

In order to do so he will have to explain why the side have dramatically under performed and how he intends to get them out of the current quagmire they find themselves in.

Having slipped back to sixth in the world, the idea of Coetzee remaining in the job seems borderline preposterous but SA Rugby has been known to make a few nonsensical decisions in its time.


Results aside, he has also lost public opinion, in a vote conducted by Sport24, in which 8,000 people took part, 92% of participants felt the writing was on the wall for Coetzee.

Erasmus would appear to be his most likely successor after SA Rugby follows due process.

Whatever happens, the following week will prove to be a defining one for the Springboks and their the 2019 World Cup bid.


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