Jean backs new Bok coach

Former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers believes Allister Coetzee is the ‘right man for the job’.

Coetzee was confirmed as the new Bok coach on Tuesday, with Mzwandile Stick set to serve as his backline coach and Johann van Graan as the forwards coach.

In an interview on SuperSport's​ rugby show TMO, De Villiers said he had no doubt Coetzee would be able to successfully lead the Springboks into a new era.

‘Allister has a wealth of experience. He was involved with the Springboks for four years before moving on to Super Rugby. Although we never won the trophy [at the Stormers], there was still a lot of success within those years. He ticks all the right boxes. I’m very happy with the appointment.’

Coetzee’s first Tests in charge will come against the Irish, with the first of three matches set to take place on 11 June.

‘I’m sure Allister is under no allusions about the challenges that lie ahead,’ De Villiers commented. ‘He doesn’t have a lot of time to prepare and it’s not ideal conditions, but I’m sure he’ll step up and make it work. It’s exciting to see some new faces in the management group there, and there will also be some new faces from a team point of view as well.

‘It’s going to be a big series against Ireland, they may not have not done so well in the Six Nations, but they’re a quality outfit with a very good coach [in Joe Schmidt].’

De Villiers said the biggest challenge for Coetzee would now be to settle on his skipper, with some reports suggesting a candidate based in South Africa would be preferred. When discussing the subject on Tuesday, Coetzee said he would first focus on assembling a carefully considered squad for the Ireland series before working out who the best candidate would be.

Coetzee also spoke of his desire for the Boks to play a high-paced, dynamic brand of rugby, which De Villiers endorsed.

‘I’m sure he’ll look to improve the team and the way we play. It’s important that we grow the game and grow along with the other sides. I’m sure there will be some new players introduced against the Irish, and that’s exciting. I do think we have the players to play an expansive and entertaining brand of rugby, but also a winning brand.’

Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

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