Coetzee: Overseas Boks unfit

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has called for the better management of South African players based at overseas clubs.

After drawing with the Barbarians, the Boks lost to England, Italy and Wales, and finished their season with a 33% win record. On Monday afternoon, it was confirmed that the Boks had dropped down to sixth in the World Rugby rankings.

'We have to take a hard look at ourselves and our current standards, which were not acceptable,' Coetzee told reporters when the team returned from Europe on Monday. 'It was not good enough to compete at international level and we have to fix it.

'This tour has taught us a couple of hard lessons, for instance about the involvement of overseas players. You don’t know in what condition they will arrive, only one week before a Test match.

'They are still very good players, but somehow we have to get a better system of how to monitor players who are playing abroad. Otherwise we have to relook their involvement, but that is a policy decision that is currently under discussion by SA Rugby.'

Coetzee conceded that the Boks weren't up to standard in key areas. Their defence and tactical kicking again let them down. They scored just five tries in three Tests.

'Overall we are very disappointed with the performances and the results on this tour, but I hope it can be used as a catalyst to benefit in the long run. I cannot fault the players for their effort and their hard work, however what was agreed upon at the indaba about the levels of our skill sets was confirmed once again.

'We will now have a proper review done by SA Rugby, plus there are two more indabas scheduled where we will reflect and discuss critical issues that we have identified. I am sure that these processes will play a major role in helping us to get back on track again in the near future,' said Coetzee.

Adriaan Strauss, who has now stepped down as Bok captain and retired from international rugby, echoed the coach’s disappointment.

“To win four matches from 12 is not good enough for the Springboks, and we are taking full responsibility for that. I know there are already processes underway to review the season and to put measures in place to help take us forward.

'As captain I will be the first one to put up my hand and to admit that we were far below what is expected of the Springboks. I am available to offer my advice and insights on where we can improve.

Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

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Jon Cardinelli