He recognises change has to occur, but Allister Coetzee insisted yesterday an altered Springbok landscape would include him next year.
“There will have to be change but it is too early [to comment]. I have to discuss it with SA Rugby,” the Bok coach said yesterday on return from the team’s European tour he labelled disastrous.
“I can understand the supporters are disappointed, and so are we.
“Whatever the spectators feel out there, [those are] also just perceptions. There are also many who feel I should stay on,” he said. “I’m a guy who will never just walk away.” “Sometimes things have to go as low as [they] can get to go up,” he said, although many will dispute the healing properties of the canvas.
“I still see massive opportunities for South African rugby not to plaster over wounds.
“Clean it out. [Commit to] six months of better planning.
“If we can prepare better for next season, that will already be a massive plus.”
Coetzee has reason to at least feel slightly buoyed.
He is in possession of a contract that expires in 2019 and has consistently pointed to the systemic problems within SA Rugby in explaining the root cause for his team’s sub-par performances.
He cannot be unaware his employers expected his team to win three out of the four matches on the end-of-year tour.
They failed to win a match, and won just four out of 12 tests this year.
He called for the emotion to be taken out of it and does not see himself as the problem but rather part of the solution to the ills that currently afflict Springbok rugby.
“Every coach goes through a tough year,” he said. “I say I’d rather take it at the beginning of my tenure, than in my third year. Maybe not in my term, but hopefully long term this will be the best for South African rugby.”
That will ring hollow with Bok fans. Equally, his admission that he had made mistakes.
Asked whether he felt the players let him down, Coetzee said: “I maybe feel disappointed in our skills levels. The players will own up.
“I’m disappointed in a lot of things on my management and in myself as well.”
Retiring captain Adriaan Strauss also opted to spread the blame.
“Players also need to take responsibility, and the coaches. It won’t be one group changing everything, it will have to be a collective.
“We are all responsible for this and we all have to face up,” he said. “The players need to fight back. “They need to realise this is not the standard of Springbok rugby.”