Rassie Erasmus and Jake White not being preferred to helm the Springboks shows SA rugby supporters don’t believe in a second coming, regardless of quality, argues MARK KEOHANE.
In a SARugbymag.co.za poll, almost 10,000 readers answered the call to choose a replacement for outgoing Bok coach Jacques Nienaber, and former Lions boss Johan Ackermann won with 29% of the vote.
John Dobson, who won the inaugural Vodacom United Rugby Championship with the DHL Stormers, came in with 22%, and 19% of voters liked the idea of SA’s director of rugby, Erasmus, reverting to the head coaching role.
Given these results and social media debates around Nienaber’s successor, Keohane, in his TimesLIVE column, suggests that Erasmus or White not being favoured as options to take over again is “bizarre”.
“I found it bizarre that White and Erasmus weren’t the two top dogs in the pecking order. They are both World Cup-winning coaches,” he writes.
“On social media, the chat was that both have had their time. It was a very South African thing, especially in rugby. This country’s rugby supporters don’t believe in a second coming, regardless of the name or quality of the individual.
“They’d rather watch a team potentially failing based on a personal preference than invest in a decision based on results, historical achievement and on the holy grail that is the winning of the World Cup.
“Ackermann would not necessarily be a poor choice, but why does our rugby public find it so hard to appreciate IP when it comes to rugby?
“Personally, I would want Dobbo to build a dynasty with the Stormers and take the Boks for the cycle 2028 to 2031. Personally, I would want Jake to continue building the Bulls dynasty and take the national director of coaching job in 2028.
“But for now, I would want Rassie Erasmus to take the Boks for another four years, knowing Dobbo and Jake are owning the URC and Champions Cup with South Africa’s north and south challenge.”
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