Editorial: SA Rugby must act on Coetzee

Notorious for dragging its heels when it comes to making tough decisions, SA Rugby needs to make a quick call on the future of coach Allister Coetzee.

While many thought Coetzee would get the boot immediately after the end-of-season European tour, the saga has been allowed to drag on.

On his return from Europe, Coetzee underwent a review process and a decision on his future is yet to be made.

Under Coetzee, the Boks have slipped to sixth in the world, winning only 11 of the 22 tests played under his tenure. Putting even more pressure on Coetzee was a humiliating 57-0 loss to the All Blacks and an embarrassing first defeat against Italy.

With England set to arrive in South Africa for a three-test series in June, there is no time to lose in deciding Coetzee’s fate.

Insiders say Coetzee has already met with SA’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus to discuss the state of the Springboks.

Following that meeting there was speculation that Coetzee would be removed from his post once every legal and moral obligation had been fulfilled by SA Rugby.

If Coetzee is eventually sacked, SA Rugby’s next challenge would be to find a suitable replacement. However, with SA Rugby losing R23.3-million in their last financial year, they may not have the cash needed to recruit a top coach.

If Coetzee is removed, Erasmus and defence guru Jacques Nienaber could get an interim coaching structure going.

Erasmus may also decide to make use of Southern Kings coach Deon Davids, who is already on SA Rugby’s payroll and is highly rated.

The signs do not look good for Coetzee, who has been unable to stamp his authority on the side during two tough seasons.

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