Bok coach to be directly appointed

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 18 Nov 2011 at 10:17
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SARU have announced that they will forego the very public process of formal applications for the Bok coaching job, opting to rather assemble a (presumably non-public) short-list of candidates, whom they will approach individually.

It’s a process that makes a lot more sense, for no greater reason than the fact that many of those who, I’m sure, would privately jump at the opportunity to coach the Boks, find themselves unable to publicly declare their interest, at the risk of jeopardising their current contracts. By keeping the shortlist in-house and opting to privately approach the men that they feel are up to the job, SARU are ensuring that the chosen coach will only have to have that “uncomfortable” discussion with his current employers once he know he’s already got the national job.

This approach would suggest that a number of names that were previously considered “off the table”, including those of John Mitchell and Alister Coetzee, are probably back in the running. I secretly wonder if Nick Mallett’s recent, very public decision to abruptly walk away from pursuing the England job might not have come about as the result of somebody whispering something in his ear. Mallett is just the sort of guy who would shy away from publicly applying for the job, but would be unlikely to turn it down if it were directly offered to him.

Don’t make too much of the fact that Peter de Villiers’ name has been added to the list – that, to me, smacks of SARU appeasement, not wanting to make it look as though they’re doing a dirty on the current coach. In reality, I’d be highly surprised if the job were to be offered to de Villiers again, but at least the right thing will appear to have been done here, by including him in the process.

In short, don’t expect too much more to be said publicly about who’s in the running and who isn’t. The process will no essentially go underground, with SARU set to unveil their new coach early next year.


  • I still haven’t forgiven Mallet for the whole Teichmann fiasco. I’d love it if he could keep away.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.11.11 10:24:36 by PTAShark Reply
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  • @PTAShark (Comment 1) : And his record with Italy isn’t THAT impressive too

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.11.11 10:26:30 by Argex Reply

  • Would love it if Mallett took it… but I can’t see it hey.

    He’s been coaching for so long, I just can’t see him wanting another go at it.

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.11.11 10:42:09 by hendrikp Reply

  • The Bok coaching position is two fold..U have the awesome opportunity to coach some of the best players in the world in a pretty favourable climate….but on the other hand there is all the off field stuff which the coach has to deal with that is a lot more in this country than others.

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.11.11 10:44:26 by SheldonK Reply

  • @PTAShark (Comment 1) : @Argex (Comment 2) :

    To be fair, Mallett has already apologized for what went down with Teichmann.

    And I think many would have done the same thing considering the form Skinstad was in (looked like he could be one of the best ever for a while).

    His record for Italy? What do you expect him to win the Six Nations? I thought he had them playing very good rugby, and would do even better with a bunch of players that are far more talented.

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.11.11 10:45:19 by hendrikp Reply

  • Mitchell?

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.11.11 10:49:19 by bergshark Reply

  • @hendrikp (Comment 5) : Not win the Six Nations, but surely considering the professional structure they have there, do better? He only has a 21,4% winning margin with them. Played 42 won nine.

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.11.11 10:51:01 by Argex Reply

  • @hendrikp: dunno if mallet has lost any of his arrogance?don’t need his bombastic character.

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.11.11 10:51:03 by bergshark Reply

  • @PTAShark (Comment 1) : @bergshark (Comment 8) : Coaching aside, I also can’t handle these 2 things about him – the Teichmann issue and his arrogance.

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.11.11 10:53:37 by beet Reply
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  • @bergshark (Comment 6) : they won’t appoint a foreigner. Egos in SA rugby are still too big for that

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.11.11 11:00:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • Not sure whether having a bit of ‘arrogance’ is a good or bad thing as a coach. I’d call it confidence rather then arrogance. Have met him a couple of times and thought he came across as an insightful, strong-willed person at most.

    @bergshark (Comment 6) :

    If there’s a coach who is straight out arrogant, it’d be John Mitchell.

    Most people here still haven’t forgiven him for ignoring Christian Cullen. Ended up calling up a debutant (during the WC) in Ben Atiga, who’s career pretty much ended right after that. Been moving around ever since. Latest stop Otago, where he’s been excluded from their S15 squad (I think).

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.11.11 11:00:00 by hendrikp Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 10) :

    Don’t need a foreigner. The whole idea of ‘New Zealanders can do it better’ is just silly. We’ve got the coaches.

    The Springboks are a South African team, and should be coached by a suitably qualified South African coach.

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.11.11 11:01:19 by hendrikp Reply

  • Does the position of head coach matter that much? I only ask because i believe the head coach is more of a player manager and its the 2 assistant coaches that really do the technical coaching. So yes I know the head coach normally selects his assistants…so should we rather be talking combinations rather than just who the Head coach is??

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.11.11 11:02:28 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 13) :

    Head coach definitely matters. With PdV it was a different story, but ideally you want a guy who makes the calls as to what players are selected, decides on a game-plan & makes the hard decisions (whatever they may be) when needed.

    Yes you need good assistant coaches, but your head coach is the most crucial management role.

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.11.11 11:06:34 by hendrikp Reply

  • @hendrikp (Comment 14) : I agree but also disagree with you. Yes the head coach determines the teams direction etc and the final selection call rests with him. But I just feel that in the modern game its more the work done by the assistants to get the back and forwards to gel and work together that is important. Any international coach’s gameplan will work as he will use the strengths on his players. But its getting the players to actually implement that gameplan that rests with the assistant coaches.

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.11.11 11:13:47 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 15) :

    Fair enough.

    Well hopefully a good head coach will be able to choose his assistants. That could work well.

    Personally I’ve got no problem with retaining Gary Gold. Our forwards have been very good under him.

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.11.11 11:16:19 by hendrikp Reply

  • @hendrikp:I can’t agree with your identify the best and then try and get the best.anyway,what if we give him sa citizenship? Then he’d be safrican..

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.11.11 11:21:01 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 17) :

    Might as well just fly every promising player over here to get citizenship as well, and make them Springboks.

    It’s the South African National rugby team. Why should we bring in a foreigner?

    Do you think the All Blacks would accept a foreigner coaching them?

    SA coaches aren’t as bad as we like to make out.

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.11.11 11:24:18 by hendrikp Reply

  • @hendrikp (Comment 11) : Tend to agree with you here; in the environment where South African national coaches are expected to work, you need someone with bullet proof self confidence. The line between that and arrogance is fine and easily misconstrued.

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.11.11 11:27:59 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • @hendrikp (Comment 16) : Yeh i agree that Gold has been pretty decent. But im just wondering who in the short list he would work with? Thats why i think of it being more a combination that a single selection.

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.11.11 11:34:30 by SheldonK Reply

  • So who would appear on your head coach shortlists?

    My candidates (in no particular order) would be:
    – Gert Smal
    – Gary Gold
    – Heyneke Meyer
    – Alistair Coetzee
    – Nick Mallet

    First choice: Heyneke Meyer

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.11.11 11:37:38 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 21) : take Gold off the shortlist and add de Villiers… just for teh sake of it… but yes, I think you have all the candidates there.

    Of that lot, I’d also like to see Meyer as head coach with Coetzee and Smal as assistants…

  • Comment 22, posted at 18.11.11 12:10:17 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : same here…

  • Comment 23, posted at 18.11.11 12:24:47 by Franshark Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : Afraid I can’t – I really like Gold. Learnt a lot from his video analysis. Perhaps it’s my blind-spot but I really respect the guy.

  • Comment 24, posted at 18.11.11 12:27:58 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : I dont think Coetzee or Smal for that matter would take assistant positions. so if we exclude them and say Hyneke Meyer…then who wud be his assistants? And dont say Pieter Rossouw!

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.11.11 12:28:21 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 25) : In my perfect world – Paul Treu and Gary Gold. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.11.11 12:43:44 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 26) : In that fantasy world PDV will start at 9 for the Boks!

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.11.11 12:56:52 by SheldonK Reply

  • Heyneke Meyer as head coach
    Gert Small Forwards coach
    Eddie Jones Backline coach
    Rassie Erasmus Tecnical

  • Comment 28, posted at 18.11.11 13:36:21 by Mutley Reply
  • Mitchell as head coach.not sure about who to make his assistants though?
    Backline coach ? Leftfield decision and make it george gregan( he is still going to asst coach at the brumbies for next season’s sr ,right?).
    Forwards coach?

  • Comment 29, posted at 18.11.11 13:38:53 by bergshark Reply

  • Forwards coach: heyneke meyer?

  • Comment 30, posted at 18.11.11 13:42:21 by bergshark Reply

  • @hendrikp (Comment 11) :

    name me one coach who didnt make a mistake like that ?

    its a gamble you take . you only pick the players . at the end of the day its not up to the coach whether a player makes it big time or not , its up to the player .

  • Comment 31, posted at 18.11.11 14:02:22 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @hendrikp (Comment 18) :

    yes lets stick our heads in the sand … we can do it ourselves . nobody else is better than us or knows more than us …

    and we will be just the same for the next 150 years while other teams learn from each other and improve …

    oh i cant wait …

  • Comment 32, posted at 18.11.11 14:11:06 by Zibbie Reply
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  • ..Zibbie is fired.. Give him a few overs,graeme smith..! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Comment 33, posted at 18.11.11 14:13:46 by bergshark Reply

  • Lol meant zibbie is fired up ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Comment 34, posted at 18.11.11 14:15:29 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 34) :


    no , i just find it ignorant .

    i ask myslef what i would prefer at the end of the day . SA loosing in the QF with an SA coach , or winning the wc with an NZL coach (or what ever) ?

    im willing to bet the same ppl caling for an SA coach will celebrate when the boks lift the World cup under a NZL coach .

    Did you guys mind winning the currie cup under a NZL coach ? cause i sure as hell didnt ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Comment 35, posted at 18.11.11 14:22:34 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie: true ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Comment 36, posted at 18.11.11 14:32:44 by bergshark Reply

  • @Zibbie (Comment 35) :

    i do however feel that the guy that coaches here needs to work with the up and coming coaches . At the Lions the u/19 and u/21 coach should learn from Mitch . and so the same at the sharks .

    in this case we are improving rugby in SA

  • Comment 37, posted at 18.11.11 14:43:48 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 35) : I know this was not necessarily implied in your post but now that you’ve brought up the World Cup… I really hope our next coach has more ambitious plans than only winning the next World Cup. Heck, I’d settle for winning the Rugby Championships for three years running or a 85-90% win record in the next four years at the expense of the World Cup. Imagine a Bok team giving the All Blacks a good pakslae on a regular basis in New Zealand.

  • Comment 38, posted at 18.11.11 14:50:16 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin: agree.bok rugby’s tradition isn’t about performing for 4 weeks every 4 is about being the best consistently year in and year out.

  • Comment 39, posted at 18.11.11 15:09:44 by bergshark Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 38) : @bergshark (Comment 39) :

    i could go with that . but then we shouldent be sending 2nd stringers to the Tri nations (Rugby Championships).

    i do however feel winning the WC is the ultimate goal .

    thinking about it we should maybe give one coach an 8 year contract . give him 8 years to win the world cup . we dont mind loosing the first world cup . but we still want consistent good performances

  • Comment 40, posted at 18.11.11 15:21:14 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie: actually I want it all: every title ,wvery championship,every award for the boks.wanna win every single test.the abs must get aick of us going over there and knocking them over.same for the aussies.and every other rugby playing nation..! Bokke..!!!!

  • Comment 41, posted at 18.11.11 15:35:17 by bergshark Reply

  • Sick is aick

  • Comment 42, posted at 18.11.11 15:36:20 by bergshark Reply


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