• Coetzee lives to fight another day

    Coetzee lives to fight another day

    The process to identify any necessary changes to the Springbok set-up is only expected to be concluded at the end of January following the start of the season review process on Tuesday.

    Allister Coetzee and players reported back to SA Rugby on Tuesday as part of the review process following what SA Rugby president Mark Alexander has labelled a ‘profoundly disappointing season’, which saw the Boks finish the year with a 33% win record.

    Coetzee and three senior players – retiring captain Adriaan Strauss, Pat Lambie and Tendai Mtawarira – provided their feedback on a year in which eight of 12 Tests were lost.

    The report-back session was led by the Springbok steering committee, made up of Francois Davids and James Stoffberg, as members of the High Performance Committee, and SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux

    The committee will form part of the process of identifying and recommending national team appointments. On Tuesday, they received feedback on technical, tactical, operational, logistical and personnel matters, and what impact management and players believed they may have had on team performance.

    The committee also questioned team personnel on their impressions of the season and particularly the end-of-year tour performances.

    Alexander, who was also present at the report back, said the review process had been given extra attention because of such disappointing results this season.

    ‘This was not a witch hunt, but a proper process to interrogate where things went wrong with a focus on finding answers and ensuring that it does not happen again. This has been a period of introspection for SA Rugby with all of us looking at our role in a dreadful season.’

    That process will continue into January as we examine the options at our disposal. We will act upon whatever interventions are identified as being necessary by all involved. I would expect that process to be completed before the end of January.’

    Alexander said they would follow a thorough and holistic process to ultimately assist the national team.

    ‘We know Springbok supporters and our partners are looking to us for instant answers and many of them may want to see heads roll. But building winning teams is not an exact science and we want to make sure that the changes we make are the right solutions to our current problems.’

    Alexander added that much work had already been done. A performance enhancement (conditioning) workshop took place last Wednesday and fed back into a second coaching indaba for franchise coaches and national team management, which took place on Monday.

    The outcomes of those meetings are already being put into place at a franchise level in pre-season Super Rugby preparations.

    In addition, the general council of SA Rugby on Friday approved ground-breaking constitutional changes to streamline administrative processes and increase business interests in professional rugby.

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