Muir’s lost cause

Written by Morné Nortier (Morné)

Posted in :Original Content on 18 Feb 2008 at 11:49
Tagged with :

Dick Muir is on the shortlist for the post of assistant Bok coach under Peter de Villiers. A good thing for some, but a mistake in my view.

When news first broke of Muir’s aspirations to coach the Boks following the departure of Jake White I made no secret of the fact that he would be the ideal candidate to take the Boks forward.

This I believed for many reasons. Firstly his rugby coaching achievements speaks for itself, and although a bit of a novice in the coaching environment every team Muir took charge of turned to gold. The Sharks fans or rather any rugby follower in South Africa will quickly show you the turn-around he affected at the Sharks after they were down in the dumps. Their youth structures are arguably the best in the country and I cannot think of one other Super coach who has brought so much young talent through than Muir.

Besides his coaching acumen Muir is probably the only universally liked coach by all South African supporters and players, no matter where your loyalties lie. I cannot begin to think that provincialism which is such a big thing in South African rugby will become a problem under Muir. Add to this his ability to converse fluently in most major languages (official) in South Africa and his admirable transformation record and Muir seems almost the perfect candidate for the Bok coaching position.

So why was he not considered?

Well SARU came out and said he missed the cut-off date, which to me was strange since they extended the cut-off date in order for Heyneke Meyer to apply for the job – but that is history.

Muir said he was not going to apply while there were still doubts on Jake’s availability for the Boks, he just felt it was wrong – admirable to say the least.

So Muir missed the boat, something even Jake White said could have been a mistake because Muir, unlike many other candidates understood the ethos and pride that comes with the Bok jersey since he played for the them in the 90’s – and of course that was one of White’s aims, to restore pride to the Bok brand.

De Villiers was appointed as Bok coach as we all know with Meyer losing out to what is seemingly a mud-slinging political fight between the Stofile and Hoskins camps.

Now rugby politics or politics in rugby is nothing new – hell if you have been following the game for the last 10 years you will know it supersedes everything in our game, even winning a World Cup. The problem I have with it, and more with Muir’s association with the Bok assistant coaching job is that it destroys the careers of both players and coaches so politicians can survive – and I would hate to see Muir’s reputation destroyed while he has arguably another 15 good years of coaching left in him.

South Africa has already lost Mallet, White and Meyer in one year from a coaching perspective and to me, we can ill-afford to lose one of our most exciting younger coaches in Muir.

Interestingly I read a report in which Muir mentioned that the plan was always to leave the Sharks at the end of this year – personally I had no idea this was his plan. For me the job at the Sharks is far from done for Muir and I would have loved to know where he was planning to go after the Sharks in 2008 apart from now applying for the assistant Bok coaching position. Was Muir about to leave South African shores?

Even so, whether his job was done or not in my opinion at the Sharks Muir is entering an arena where he has a hell of a lot to lose, and not much to gain.

Assistant coaches throughout the years are not really remembered when campaigns went horribly wrong for head coaches. Who were Straeuli’s assistant coaches again? Can anyone remember (apart from Jake) Viljoen’s back-up team? But also, they are really not hot commodities after these failed campaigns.

Under De Villiers Muir will have his work cut out for him – as an accomplished head coach he will not always have final say, but still be held responsible for failures in certain departments – and let’s be honest – as world champions under De Villiers in 2008 the year can go horribly wrong very quickly.

Where to after that for Muir? As a failed assistant coach he will not be one of the favourites to take over from De Villiers should he fail, and as history has shown, franchises or provinces are not keen on employing coaches from failed campaigns either.

So what could he possibly gain?

Experience? A Learning curve at the highest level? For sure, but at what cost to him?

I think an assistant coaching team to work with De Villiers in the mould of Muir (backs) and Gold (forwards) has an exciting ring to it and it might be hugely successful, but it is still one hell of a risk to take – one I would not consider if I was Muir.


  • Thanks for this, Morne. A really great piece of work.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.02.08 11:54:09 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I just want him to stay with the Sharks…no matter what!!!

    This is a very well thought out article & should have a lot of people “second thoughting” their opinions…hopefully Dick will be one of them 😆

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.02.08 12:01:55 by Me2 Reply

    Me2 aka Mama Shark
  • Well with and agreed 100% ❗

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.02.08 12:02:17 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • Well written and agreed 100% ❗

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.02.08 12:04:00 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • 🙂 Interesting …

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.02.08 12:11:01 by shark_time Reply

  • Stay where you are Dick. Just be patient, your time will come… 😯

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.02.08 12:16:59 by shark-tank Reply

  • he wants to leave anyway… not sure why

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.02.08 12:27:08 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • ARE YOU SURE?????

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.02.08 12:30:51 by Me2 Reply

    Me2 aka Mama Shark
  • m2

    If you are asking if we are sure he wants to leave then i am afraid the answer is yes. 🙁

    Read my article “Muir gone by the end of the season?” He has stated that it has been the plan from the start for him to leave at the end of this year. 🙁

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.02.08 12:33:32 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Another of DM’s devious moves ❓ 🙄 ❓ 😀 ❓

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.02.08 13:19:33 by Me2 Reply

    Me2 aka Mama Shark
  • i disagree. assistant coach means he can fly under the radar and not have the abuse hurled at him that is reserved for the head coach. he gets vital experience and he has a pretty resume for any coaching position that comes open internationally after the world cup. whats more he gets to fly to all the major rugby playing unions on business, and while he is there what harm is there in dropping off your cv. as for his name being tarnished, it won’t he can lay the blame on the forwards coach for not giving his backline clean ball.

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.02.08 13:42:04 by try time Reply

  • tt- I wish I could share your optism. But, hey, I hope you are right! 😯

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.02.08 13:48:28 by shark-tank Reply

  • ST – check the Bru!!! 😆

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.02.08 13:53:26 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Okay…

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.02.08 14:05:52 by shark-tank Reply

  • Not okay… I skopped your GAT!!! 😆

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.02.08 14:08:54 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Ice….did you move up? If so why ❓ 😡

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.02.08 14:09:59 by shark-tank Reply

  • Because I made empty promises to the administrator…

    LOL – because I am GOOD! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.02.08 14:11:53 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Enjoy it while you can blondie cause after this week you gonna drop – like a stone ❗ 😆

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.02.08 14:12:12 by shark-tank Reply

  • 😯

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.02.08 14:13:34 by shark-tank Reply

  • :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    Not if I keep making promises… 😆 😆

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.02.08 14:16:40 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • My promises will be bigger and better than yours 👿

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.02.08 14:18:26 by shark-tank Reply

  • 😯 😯 😯 Sharks-Tank…he is male…. 😆

  • Comment 22, posted at 18.02.08 14:19:17 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • That’s where you are wrong! 😆 Female…..You got the wrong person. 😳

  • Comment 23, posted at 18.02.08 14:21:30 by shark-tank Reply

  • Stormers and Cheetahs messed up my predictions…but I was happy for the Lions though…

  • Comment 24, posted at 18.02.08 14:22:03 by shark_time Reply

  • I am adaptable…makes you think – after my promises I ended up above you….hehehehehe

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.02.08 14:25:20 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Reds and Cheetahs for me ST….

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.02.08 14:26:20 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Stormers, and Reds messed it up for me. Then of course in my wisdom I took the Hurricanes! 🙄

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.02.08 14:26:38 by shark-tank Reply

  • Needless to say I won’t make that buggerup again. 😳
    Yip…I was very happy for Loffie!

  • Comment 28, posted at 18.02.08 14:29:41 by shark-tank Reply

  • Its called AGE… 😆

  • Comment 29, posted at 18.02.08 14:29:58 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • ice is adaptable and making promises to administrators. and who says sex doesn’t pay.

  • Comment 30, posted at 18.02.08 14:30:22 by try time Reply

  • Geez TT…who talked about sex here….??? 🙄

  • Comment 31, posted at 18.02.08 14:33:04 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • sorry it was the implications. re-read your posts above and it is quite obvious how i misconstrued your moving up the log. 🙂

  • Comment 32, posted at 18.02.08 14:35:31 by try time Reply

  • Hey! Ice and I are just friends 🙂

  • Comment 33, posted at 18.02.08 14:36:29 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • are you the bru she made empty promises to about being adaptable? 😉

  • Comment 34, posted at 18.02.08 14:39:20 by try time Reply

  • beware ice has a history of stalking. why do you think sykes is still injured? he is still in a protection program.

  • Comment 35, posted at 18.02.08 14:42:15 by try time Reply

  • 😆 😆 😆 :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 😆 😆

    Its all got to do with the readers mind or interpretation… 😈

  • Comment 36, posted at 18.02.08 14:44:30 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Hahahaha TT – very Funny! 😆

  • Comment 37, posted at 18.02.08 14:45:21 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • its definately my mind. i can’t interpret. 😀

  • Comment 38, posted at 18.02.08 14:46:50 by try time Reply

  • 😆 TT 😎

  • Comment 39, posted at 18.02.08 14:50:05 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • has anyone played kankowski? it is very simple. it is based on the old game donkey, except in this game you use hot potatoes. you take a hot potato out and throw it to a guy in the group. if the guy drops it he gets a k then an a etc until he is kankowski. 😆

  • Comment 40, posted at 18.02.08 14:56:43 by try time Reply

  • 😈 LOL – could be a good party game!

  • Comment 41, posted at 18.02.08 15:01:12 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • 🙄 🙄 🙄

  • Comment 42, posted at 18.02.08 15:04:35 by Charlie Reply

  • TT – :mrgreen: 😆 What a game…

    Cheers guys-I’m outta here…

  • Comment 43, posted at 18.02.08 15:04:40 by shark_time Reply

  • it works well with eightmen

  • Comment 44, posted at 18.02.08 15:05:16 by try time Reply

  • 😆 You killing me TT! A pennypusher with humour – LOL 😆

  • Comment 45, posted at 18.02.08 15:10:39 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • it is the only way to stay semi sane.

  • Comment 46, posted at 18.02.08 15:14:26 by try time Reply

  • tt – your pic…been pinching your son’s suit ❓ ❓ 😉 😉

  • Comment 47, posted at 18.02.08 15:24:18 by Me2 Reply

    Me2 aka Mama Shark
  • having fun, chaps? 😉

  • Comment 48, posted at 18.02.08 15:26:36 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • yeah. no i thought it suited my online personality. dark, devious, mysterious and he doesnt wear a helmet with bull horns on.

  • Comment 49, posted at 18.02.08 15:28:18 by try time Reply

  • no rob. no fun allowed on this site. rugby, rugby, rugby. here catch the potato.

  • Comment 50, posted at 18.02.08 15:29:40 by try time Reply

  • 😆 😆 😆 @ tt

  • Comment 51, posted at 18.02.08 15:31:29 by Me2 Reply

    Me2 aka Mama Shark
  • oops, I dropped it! 😉

  • Comment 52, posted at 18.02.08 15:34:55 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • lol, RD, you available to start on the wing this weekend v the Strompies then?

  • Comment 53, posted at 18.02.08 15:36:28 by Le Requinny Reply
  • thats a k for you.

  • Comment 54, posted at 18.02.08 15:40:25 by try time Reply

  • I am always available… 🙂

  • Comment 55, posted at 18.02.08 15:49:54 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Working on Mondays and Fridays should be against the law 😥

  • Comment 56, posted at 18.02.08 15:51:10 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • who works on mondays and fridays?

  • Comment 57, posted at 18.02.08 15:52:01 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • i dont know, but i had to do a shyteload of work today,and if this had to be an every week thing i wouldn’t stand for it

  • Comment 58, posted at 18.02.08 15:55:59 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • i dont know, but i had to do a shyteload of work today,and if this had to be an every week thing i wouldn’t stand for it

    18.02.08 15:55:59 – provincejoulekkading

    You sure that’s not just because of Saterday then? Seems a lot of Strompies are “busy” today…

  • Comment 59, posted at 18.02.08 15:57:08 by Le Requinny Reply
  • Careful you dont over-extend yourself there Quinny…

    There’s always next week…

  • Comment 60, posted at 18.02.08 15:58:17 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • lol Vinnie, too true.

    Sharks always lose a game to one of the weaker teams. Could well be this Sat 🙄

  • Comment 61, posted at 18.02.08 16:00:32 by Le Requinny Reply
  • 😯 Oi i hadn’t considered that!
    Don’t know what the okes are hiding from,we just lost the game,tough.Im a bit dik vel from the 75-14s , vrek disapointed about the result but nowhere near upset.
    PLUS we gonna beat the Sharks on Saturday so thats something to look forward to. 😐

  • Comment 62, posted at 18.02.08 16:02:52 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • I shouted for Stormers this past weekend – now I have to hope they lose! Was really hoping they would beat the Bulls.

  • Comment 63, posted at 18.02.08 16:09:51 by Nessa Reply


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