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White: SA Rugby needs full audit

  • 05 Dec 2017
SA Rugby president Mark Alexander with Allister Coetzee SA Rugby president Mark Alexander with Allister Coetzee

Jake White says SA Rugby’s boardroom leaders should be held just as accountable as coach Allister Coetzee for the Springboks’ woes.

In his latest column for AllOutRugby, the 2007 World Cup-winning coach questioned why Coetzee was receiving all the blame when there were also other factors at play during the Boks’ spiral to sixth place in the world rankings.

‘So how did we get here? It hasn’t happened overnight. It’s not like everything was going well and then Allister was appointed and we suddenly fell over. This has been coming for a long time.

‘On Saturday we lost against a Wales B team. We never used to lose to Wales. Nick Mallett lost to Wales for the first time in 1999, now they’ve beaten us twice in a row. How did that happen? I see Allister’s performance is going to be reviewed, but where’s the review of SA Rugby’s board?

‘Many of the people involved in making key decisions in SA Rugby have been there for the duration of the slide from world champions to sixth in the rankings. We were the top team on the planet 10 years ago with players that were sought after by every top-tier club around the world. We didn’t have a problem with players leaving in those days.

‘In business terms, if a company’s mission statement is “we do it this way” and at some point they change and go another way, that doesn’t work. If your company is known as the best in technology or service, and you move away from that, then your whole brand falls to pieces.

‘The leadership of SA Rugby need to ask themselves some hard questions about what they’re delivering.’

White also questioned why various appointments continued to be made without an advertising process, while calling for a ‘frank audit on everybody at SA Rugby’.

‘It looks like Allister will get sacked and he alone will be held accountable for South Africa’s results. None of the administrators are being held accountable, so if it’s just the coach that has been the problem then the solution is simple – just go and get the best available coach.

‘If there was a condition that, should the next appointed Bok coach fail, all SA Rugby’s board members must tender their resignation, I’d be willing to bet that the appointment process would be overhauled overnight.’

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