‘Boks need strong coaching team’

Six former players on whether Allister Coetzee is the right man to take over as Springbok coach.

Joel Stransky (former Bok flyhalf)

‘Allister is a very likeable man and a deep rugby thinker, but he will need to surround himself with incredibly strong guys if he is to do a good job. I think we need a strong coach and a strong coaching team who are willing to have those tough debates about how we play, selection and the players – a team who will challenge each other and come up with a plan that’s better than what we’ve seen in the past.' 

Kobus Wiese (former Bok lock)

'I think he’s built up a good reputation at the Stormers, he did very well with them the past couple of years. However, I don't think it’s a job [Bok head coach] for one man. It’s too complex, too involved, and there’s so much pressure. If he is the man to be appointed, it will be very wise not only of Allister, or whoever gets appointed, but of Saru that they appoint very strong assistant coaches given the enormity of the job and the constant pressure that comes with it. The stronger the individuals making the decisions on who’s going to play and what the game plan is, the better for the team.’

Chester Williams (former Bok wing)

‘I definitely think he’s the right man for the job. If you look at his record here in South Africa, he’s been successful with the [Western Province] Currie Cup team, and he was assistant coach to Jake White when the Springboks won the 2007 World Cup. He’s got all the experience and credibility to coach the Springboks at this stage. He’s done wonders with the teams he’s been working with.’

Adrian Jacobs (former Bok centre)

'Allister is the best candidate to replace Heyneke Meyer. He has a proven track record in Super Rugby, where he led the Stormers to the final in 2010 and in the Currie Cup, where Western Province won two titles under his guidance. Looking at his credentials, there is no need for him to show how good a coach he is again, it's time to get the recognition and reward he deserves. Allister would be my first choice. If not him, I'd still prefer any other local coach than someone from abroad.'

Werner Greeff (former Bok fullback)

'Anyone with new, innovative and creative ideas for the Springboks going forward, will be better than Heyneke Meyer. Our game plan under Meyer was too rigid. He has this notion that bigger, stronger players are best suited to be Springboks, which is not the case. Allister Coetzee was open to a different variety of styles and players while at the Stormers and is a much better option than Meyer. People want to see the Boks play like the All Blacks and Wallabies did in the World Cup final, but under Meyer our attack was dying a slow and painful death. Allister will bring a completely different element to the Bok set-up. He has my backing to take over the coaching position.'

Gary Teichmann (former Bok No 8)

'It's a difficult one. We are in need of someone with international coaching experience and unfortunately no current South African coach meets that criteria. There is a vast difference between doing well at Super Rugby level and Test level and I feel that Allister is not yet ready to be handed the Bok coaching reins. Maybe give an international coach a two- or three-year deal, with Coetzee and Johan Ackermann as assistant coaches, just like Steve Hansen served under Graham Henry. That person can groom Coetzee or Ackermann to take over once his contract expires. That way the coaching transition will be much easier, while the results improve from the get-go.'

Photo: Tertius Pickard/Gallo Images