Richard Ferguson

Pick a coach, any coach

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 4 Sep 2013 at 10:59
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With the Springbok announcement coming through this morning, there seems to be a whole lot of negativity towards the team and the coach in general. Here is where you get involved and let us know your opinion.

Reality is tough, having to deal with everything that a normal working person has to deal with, and to make matters even worse, your Saturday entertainment gets ruined as a result of Heyneke Meyer selecting a team that you do not agree with. So let’s slip out of this tough reality for a moment and play a game of Pick a coach, any coach.

The rules are simple. There are hundreds of coaches out there, varying from retired folk who once upon time coached the Springboks (Ian Macintosh) to the best of the best currently (Jake White, Ewen McKenzie, Steve Hansen). Pick a coach to take over the head coach position of the Springboks, and tell us why.

There are so many to choose from, that you could even put together a Fantasy panel of coaches, from forwards coach, line-out specialist to mental coach. Just tell us who and why, and we should see some interesting selections coming in.


  • Allister Coetzee FTW!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 1, posted at 04.09.13 11:04:18 by wpw Reply
  • Bring back Jake! Please? Pretty Please!!

    With Divvy as spokesperson

  • Comment 2, posted at 04.09.13 11:06:32 by Die Kriek Reply

  • I’m still working on my management team, but I will definitely look to Paul Treu as a skills or fitness coach. Surely that man has a wealth of experience!?

  • Comment 3, posted at 04.09.13 11:07:09 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Let’s start out by being honest…

    When appointed I thought that HM was the savior that Bok rugby needed. However, after a slew of inconsistent decisions and a gameplan that frankly belongs in the 1920s I’ve lost faith.

    My first preference is anyone other than HM.

    After that I think that Gert Smal would make a good head coach. He’s been at the level before, being an assistant for both South Africa and Ireland and can make the step up. His era of Stormers rugby wasn’t the current dull Bulls duplicate currently being deployed nor was it the sinking into muck of Kobus van der Merwe.

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.09.13 11:07:12 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 3) : Think you’ve hit a great point over there. Treu as skills coach would push the Boks up to another level.

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.09.13 11:07:57 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 4) :

    I will confess that my thoughts on Meyer’s appointment were positive as well.

    Somehow I thought his experience and level-headedness would count in the Boks favour, I did not think he would fall back onto a favouritism for the Bulls though..

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.09.13 11:08:53 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Well SARU also has to start making a short list, cause HM’s ‘play it safe approach/use foreign based players’ is gonna BOMB! Spectaculary. Watch this space.

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.09.13 11:10:07 by catfish Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 4) :

    I would involve Gert in some way. He has had great success with the Irish, but I think he remains an assistant rather than taking the reigns.

    Some people are just better assistants, look at Allister Coetzee for instance.

  • Comment 8, posted at 04.09.13 11:10:17 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 6) : Pretty much the same. I thought that the break with Leicester and then only recently having come back to the Director of Rugby position for the Bulls would have given him a little perspective.

    Unfortunately not.

    With Gert Smal he’s been uninvolved with Bok rugby for long enough that if he had any favourites they would have retired already.

  • Comment 9, posted at 04.09.13 11:10:56 by Butchie34 Reply
  • My next appointment would be Sheryl Calder.

    That women did wonders with the 2007 squad, and she has gone on to be great with many other sports stars, including Ernie Els.

    She is a must for any professional rugby unit, who is keen on having superior skills..

  • Comment 10, posted at 04.09.13 11:11:38 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 10) : My forwards coach would actually be Plum – we’d just need to wrestle him away from the Guiness.

    I think he can do wonders with a forward pack while not burdened by the whole team.

  • Comment 11, posted at 04.09.13 11:13:19 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 9) :

    i think if HM is reincarnated in 500 years he will still only pick Blue Bull players …

  • Comment 12, posted at 04.09.13 11:15:25 by Zibbie Reply
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  • John Mitchell…..
    If he can coach a bunch of average Lions players to a Currie Cup win surely he can take the Bokke to a World Cup and win it…

    Mitch is the man….

  • Comment 13, posted at 04.09.13 11:17:23 by Lassy_lion Reply
  • @Zibbie (Comment 12) : As long as they’re mobile and if they have a walker or in a wheelchair he’ll consider that mobile enough

  • Comment 14, posted at 04.09.13 11:18:19 by Butchie34 Reply
  • Nick Mallett, his knowledge and appreciation of the mordern game would serve our current bunch well. The previous era of players were Heyneke’s cup of tea.

  • Comment 15, posted at 04.09.13 11:27:12 by Ludz Reply

  • @Ludz (Comment 15) :

    Would you have him as head coach, or as a Director of Coaching?

  • Comment 16, posted at 04.09.13 11:28:37 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Die Kriek (Comment 2) : I second that option!!! Will be GREAT to see post match media interviews!!!

  • Comment 17, posted at 04.09.13 11:31:01 by R Hayward Reply

  • I once thought HM was the guy to save Springbok Rugby. Now I think the exact opposite, Enough said about that above. I agree re Nick M. But bring Jake back. SA should never have let him go!!!!

  • Comment 18, posted at 04.09.13 11:38:34 by [email protected] Reply

  • Butchie34 you said it regarding HM and bulls players. Lambie doesn’t have a chance!

  • Comment 19, posted at 04.09.13 11:41:13 by [email protected] Reply

  • What about Robbie Deans?

  • Comment 20, posted at 04.09.13 11:41:31 by bokbok Reply

  • Jake White.

    He’s the most professional coach SA has had yet.
    He’s not afraid to bring in the best support.

    He’s a great analyst of the game and his game plan isn’t restricted to a Jake White specific game plan, but rather what he believes to be the winning game plan at that stage.

    He uses structure as a base and if his players has the skills, that structure will produce the opportunities for good open rugby. Just look at the Brumbies. Their forwards know what they are doing and their exciting backs have been reaping the benefits.

    I always like that Jake wasn’t afraid to tell everyone what he’s doing. He had a plan and was clear with that plan.

    When he brought a player in for the Boks whether a youngster or a veteran (FSteyn/Montgomery) he was always clear what his plan or idea with the player was. With most other coaches (Meyer/Plumtree), this is not the case, which gives me the impression that they don’t know what they are doing and that’s why it’s not clear to us.

    But the most important reason – How the hell do you drop a coach that build a team that could so easily win the world cup. That team was strong and I think he could have gone on a couple more years doing the same thing, especially since he already had his core and wouldn’t have had to start over for the next world cup.

  • Comment 21, posted at 04.09.13 12:26:40 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Ludz (Comment 15) :
    I like Nick Mallet as a coach, but I think he’s a little erratic and overly experimental. You don’t always knows what’s going on in his head and like I said when that happens with a coach, it always gives me the impression that they don’t really know what they’re doing or in which direction they want to go.

  • Comment 22, posted at 04.09.13 12:32:26 by Letgo Reply
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  • Rassie Erasmus as Technical Analyst/Strategist along with Nick Mallett.

    Jake White as Head Coach as long as he isn’t size-obsessed and puts Brussouw in the team. We NEED a fetcher!!

    Gert Smal as Forwards Coach.

    Jaqcue Nienaber as Defensive Coach.

    Eddie jones as Skills Coach assisted by Carlos Spencer and/or Stephen Larkham.

    Braam van Straaten as Kicking Coach.

    Sheryll Colder (A MUST HAVE!!!) for peripheral vision training.

    Os du Randt/Balie Swart as scrum Coach.

    John Smit as a leadership skills consultant.

    A mental conditioning expert.

  • Comment 23, posted at 04.09.13 12:44:59 by ChrisS Reply
  • Has to be Brad Mcleod Henderson….who can top going from Schoolboy coach to coaching one of the top teams in the world. Its the logical next step. 😈

  • Comment 24, posted at 04.09.13 12:48:48 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 23) :

    There is only one mental coach in the country worth mentioning, Tim Goodenough!

  • Comment 25, posted at 04.09.13 12:56:09 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 25) : Then he’s the man I want!

    What do you think of the rest of my panel? I’d like to add Treu in for specialised sevens-related skills coaching eg. beating a man instead of running over him as well as playing to space and looking for the offload.

  • Comment 26, posted at 04.09.13 13:00:12 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 26) :

    Comprehensive panel that, one that is sure to cost you an arm and a leg, but in fantasy land, a decent set of coaches that!

    I might involve Sir Clive Woodward somewhere, whether as a forwards coach or general director of coaching. I am not the greatest fan of Rassie Erasmus!

  • Comment 27, posted at 04.09.13 13:03:17 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Graham Henry

  • Comment 28, posted at 04.09.13 13:20:08 by MysticShark Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 27) : Some of the English Club teams have that kind of set up so we should at an international level.

    I like Rassie’s technical knowledge.

  • Comment 29, posted at 04.09.13 13:55:16 by ChrisS Reply
  • OMG but there’s some shit being talked on this forum.

    Gert Smal, – are you having a laugh?
    Somebody above posted he has great success with the Irish…
    Really? Are you referring to the same Irish side that is currently ranked below Samoa? Quarter finals of the 2011 World Cup?
    2nd last in the 2013 6N? 3rd in the preceding two years.
    That doesnt sound like success to me.

    If you’re hell-bent on using past success as a marker, then surely the only European coach you could look at would be Gatland?

    Bring back Jake White says another poster above. Are you farking crazy? Do you remember what it was like when Jake coached the Boks? The obsession with size above all else? The fraught relationship with the media, some of the players and especially with SARU?
    Jake White is simply an English-speaking version of Heyneke Meyer. Same boneheaded gameplan, same inflexibility.
    Yes he’s had success with the Brumbies, but thats largely because he brought defence to a side that has for years only concentrated on offence. A little bit of discipline in Ozzie rugby has always brought great results.

    And besides, I simply couldnt listen to him preaching the gospel of JW day after day – its bad enough he throws in the 2c from Australia.

    Mallett has repeatedly ruled himself out of contention. It leaves the likes of Ackerman, Naka and Coetzee as the only realistic contenders, perhaps with input from the current assistant coaches and the likes of Paul Treu (for whom I have the utmost respect btw).

    And Clive Woodward is not, is not, is not, a natural rugby coach. He’s a corporate man manager who lucked out because he had the likes of Martin Johnson managing a very capable team at the time.

    Graham Henry deserves due consideration, but will never be picked.

  • Comment 30, posted at 04.09.13 13:59:19 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 23) :

    So basically you pretty much want the 2007 coaching team.

    Only you dont actually want that coaching team – you want a version of that coaching team, where the fundamental thought process of the head coach (pick huge players and out-tough the oppo) needs to change?

    Best of luck with that.

  • Comment 31, posted at 04.09.13 14:01:51 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 30) : don’t interfere with our Fantasy League coaching selection process!

  • Comment 32, posted at 04.09.13 14:02:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 32) :


    I just cant believe the only solutions proposed on here are to bring back Jake White, who stood accused of playing dinosaur rugby to an even greater degree than HM.

    Why replace one relic of a bygone age with another?
    Because he won the WC? We didnt even deserve that bloody WC, yet every fool wants to hang his hat on it as if JW and 2007 Boks beat all comers. We lucked out, thats all that happened there.

  • Comment 33, posted at 04.09.13 14:06:36 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • So, just reading back through the commetns section – the coaches that have been touted are as follows:

    Clive Woodward
    Jake White
    Graham Henry
    Gert Smal.

    Seems if you manage to win a World Cup then you’re good enough to coach the Boks. Nobody else even gets a look-in, apart from Mallet, who presumably should’ve won the World Cup in 1999.

    Is that the best Sharksworld is able to come up with? Make a list of previous World Cup winning coahces?

    Good Lord, we’re in trouble. Glad nobody is thinking outside the box.

    I’ll only say this once – South African rugby fans deserve Heyneke Meyer.

  • Comment 34, posted at 04.09.13 14:11:19 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 35) :

    Don’t cop out…who would it be, mr Dube?

  • Comment 35, posted at 04.09.13 14:15:05 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 34) :

    Brendan Venter. John Connolly. Alistair Coetzee. Rassie. Naka. Ackerman. Todd Blackadder. Steven Hansen. Wayne Smith. John Hart.

  • Comment 36, posted at 04.09.13 14:15:26 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 36) :

    Alright, alright, keep your panties on. I had to think about it a wee bit.

  • Comment 37, posted at 04.09.13 14:18:29 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 37) : I still fail to see why everybody considers Rassie such a great technical analyst…..on what basis is this believed to be true? Because of the great WP/Stormers attack or the fantastic Bok gameplan?

  • Comment 38, posted at 04.09.13 14:19:24 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 37) :

    And just to add to that – Venter, Blackadder and Wayne Smith would be top of my hitlist.

  • Comment 39, posted at 04.09.13 14:19:47 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 37) :

    Strong setup there!

    In what capacity would you use Naka? Scrum coach?

    And Todd?

  • Comment 40, posted at 04.09.13 14:20:33 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 40) :

    Oh, so any of those to be head coach.

  • Comment 41, posted at 04.09.13 14:21:05 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 39) :

    Nah, for me its the fact that he is a student of the game, in the mould of Henry, White and the like.

    I can see him tryign to implement things outside of the box and I’m told he spends an enormous amount fo time analysing things.

    I personally feel rugby is moving in the direction of NFL where it becomes a game of probabilities and asserting a gameplan to maximise those probabilities.
    I have my doubts whether Rassie has the man-leadership to do the job justice (he strikes me as a behind-the-scenes sort of guy), but I believe he has the natural skill to pull off the job.

  • Comment 42, posted at 04.09.13 14:22:42 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 43) :

    I hear that a lot but I still don’t see it in action.

    (I hope MornΓ© doesn’t read this)

  • Comment 43, posted at 04.09.13 14:25:25 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 42) :

    Havent really thought it through to be honest, but I think those are the names you want on top of the CVs applying for the job.
    At that point they need to present a vision for the side, how they see their assistants shaping up and what their intentions are.

    I’m also a big fan of teams that present together as a unit. They’re adults, this is a professional sport – they guys should be able to pitch this in the same way as a businessman would pitch an idea.

    What I would guarantee you is that these guys would likely present a much better vision for the side than “pick the biggest guy and pick overseas Boks” as a strategy.

  • Comment 44, posted at 04.09.13 14:25:33 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 44) :

    I dont see how you cant be seeing it – its not like WP arent the reigning Currie Cup champions.
    So its not on results that youre making those judgements.

  • Comment 45, posted at 04.09.13 14:27:16 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • Gotta run to the gym. Lets have some ideas guys!

  • Comment 46, posted at 04.09.13 14:28:34 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 46) : πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

  • Comment 47, posted at 04.09.13 14:29:15 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 37) :

    No Jerome Paarwater??

    I’m at a loss for words!! 😈

  • Comment 48, posted at 04.09.13 14:42:26 by wpw Reply
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 40) :

    Naka puzzles me a bit. But he has managed to do fantastic things at the Cheetahs with a very limited player base and an extremely limited budget.

    Basically, perhaps not right now, but the man has something and, for the most part, his sides look motivated and hungry.

  • Comment 49, posted at 04.09.13 15:34:48 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 48) :

    Lol. As a talent scout maybe.

  • Comment 50, posted at 04.09.13 15:36:29 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 48) : If ou Jerome has any sense of business he can make a packet helping up country unions become Vodacom Cup compliant with WP club players – he just has to extend his current talent scouting to the rest of the country as opposed to only the WP / Stormers.

  • Comment 51, posted at 04.09.13 16:29:26 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Head coach: Jake White because he is organized and understands the game and the players better than anyone.

    Backline coach: Perhaps Carlos Spencer, but that’s only because he is the only one that comes to mind.

    Line-out coach: Victor Matfield because there is no better line-out specialist in the world.

    Scrum-coach: Os du Randt because look at what he has done for the Cheetahs (they may not be the best but they are probably the most improved)

    Kicking coach: Percy Montgomery because he did such a good job under de Villiers.

  • Comment 52, posted at 04.09.13 17:11:59 by David12246 Reply

  • I think I should be the next Bok coach. Lets face it with all the experts on here I could just read their comments before picking my team, what can go wrong……………

  • Comment 53, posted at 04.09.13 18:08:37 by JD Reply
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  • Nick mallett as head coach with david campese,paul treu and gert smal as assistants

  • Comment 54, posted at 04.09.13 18:27:11 by Bok-Clyde-Kiwi Reply

  • Todd Blackadder!! The Crusaders have given players structures they can thrive in for years now. The Springboks should at least learn from his player rotation policy.

  • Comment 55, posted at 04.09.13 18:56:56 by soutie Reply


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