Coetzee challenges SA rugby coaches, franchises

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee opened the SA Rugby Coaches’ Indaba at a Newlands hotel with a simple but uncomfortable question yesterday: “Have we embraced professionalism?”

It was rhetorical, since the answer is self-evident.

Players are not fit enough‚ coaches are not qualified or experienced enough, and unions are not run as effectively as they could be.

Acting SA Rugby president Mark Alexander challenged unions to embrace the opportunity to strengthen the South African game.

“In South Africa‚ we have six different franchises‚ each with their own different methods of playing the game‚” he said.

“Our national team players spend the bulk of the year being coached by their respective unions‚ and then spend a short time with the Springbok coaching team before international games.

“This is clearly not proving to be an efficient and effective way to manage our players well and get the best out of them.

“This indaba aims to find a solution to the challenges we face – with input from all our franchises.

“This is a very important event for SA Rugby‚” he said.

“We are all here to work together‚ to share ideas‚ and to plot a new direction for Springbok rugby‚ a direction that can only be founded on an intense level of collaboration among all the rugby unions in South Africa.

“We need to identify and acknowledge the common goals we have for Springbok rugby.”

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