There is apparently a complete ‘breach of trust’ between Allister Coetzee and members of the SA Rugby executive following a sequence of fiery emails.
According to Die Burger rugby writer Stephen Nell, Coetzee presented a stern response this past week as he continues to defend his position as Bok coach after a two-year spell that has yielded just 11 wins from 25 Tests.
Coezee is said to have questioned SA Rugby’s lack of commitment to transformation and raised issues around the difficult circumstances that he has been forced to face in the top job.
Among several issues he pointed out, Coetzee suggests that the management team he had to work with in 2016 was forced upon him, while insisting that there was nothing confirmed in writing as to what was expected of him with regards to the team’s performance.
Coetzee was apparently told by SA Rugby that he had to win the three-match home series against France in 2017, and then 50% of the remaining Tests of the year. He ended up winning just four of the remaining 10 Tests. However, this was not put in writing by SA Rugby.
Coetzee also claims that the Boks’ record 38-3 loss to Ireland in Dublin last November was the direct result of the players having to fly economy class from Qatar to Dublin, which is an 18-hour journey. The players were upset by this and went into the match with a negative mindset, according to Coetzee.
The Bok coach claims he wanted to select overseas-based players who had not played 30 or more Tests, but was not able to because of SA Rugby’s eligibility rule. Yet his contract says he has the final say on the team selection.
Coetzee was also upset that SA Rugby allowed assistant coach Johann van Graan to join Munster with two matches remaining on the Boks’ end-of-year tour.
SA Rugby has yet to make any formal announcement on the Bok coaching setup despite an ongoing review, but Rassie Erasmus has already begun work as the new director of rugby. It is expected that he will effectively become the hands-on Bok coach once Coetzee’s situation is resolved.
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