‘The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated’ is a quote ascribed to the American novelist Mark Twain, but appears apt in the Curious Case of the Springbok assistants…
Just under a month ago, a Cape Town newspaper ran a frontpage headline that Springbok assistant coach Gary Gold – amongst others – was set to be given the boot ahead of the 2010 international season.
This decision, apparently, was going to be ratified at a Springbok management meeting this week.
This meeting, however, has already taken place and Gold, along with backline coach Dick Muir, has seemingly been given a stay of execution… that, of course, is if he ever needed one.
You see, Gold was never going to be fired in the first place and neither was Muir.
For starters, the Bok coach is very happy with both of his assistants. Sure, there were a few issues that needing addressing, and why not, especially after their disappointing end-of-season tour last year, but they were simply ‘issues’ that come about after a tour of that nature and ahead of a new international season which kicks-off next month.
Secondly, Gold, in particular, has been a big supporter of De Villiers’s since they joined forces at the start of 2008. Gold, who many people had warned not to team up with De Villiers, has had nothing but praise for the Bok boss since teaming up with him and was no doubt as surprised as De Villiers would have been when he picked up the newspaper a few weeks ago to read about his ‘sacking’.
In fact, the Springbok coach – who was speaking to the Cape Times and Die Burger last month – never actually said he would be firing any of his assistants, one of the papers, however, said it would happen… and the fire simply spread from there.
This week is yet another great week for South African rugby – the reigning world champions, conquerors of the British & Irish Lions, Tri-Nations champions and holders of the Super 14 title. Our teams are hosting both semifinals and the Kiwi and Aussie sides are beside themselves ahead of the full international season; yet, we still have to deal with rumours like these – it still remains to be seen who told the newspaper that Gold and Muir were in ‘trouble’ – when we should be patting ourselves on the back until the cows come home.
The only joy the Kiwis have had so far this season was when they ran a story on their weekly magazine show Reunion about this supposed rift in the Bok management team.
You see, the Kiwis and Aussies love it when there is trouble within SA Rugby – it’s the only way they can beat us… and, once again, we have played straight into their hands. Well, not quite ‘we’, but rather a local journalist. (As the old adage goes, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.)
So, what can Gold and Muir do now?
Are they able to ask for a written apology? Should they even bother? Why was De Villiers even speaking to two newspapers only, when other media institutions – even this pokey little website – had been asking for an audience with the Springbok coach for some time?
This article is courtesy of www.rugby365.comTweet