Long wait for new SA coach

The next man will be hand-picked by Jurie Roux

CityPress - - Sport - HEN­DRIK CRONJÉ sports@city­press.co.za

South Africans will only know in March who will re­place Heyneke Meyer as Spring­bok coach. SA Rugby Union (Saru) CEO Jurie Roux has been as­signed the tricky task of hand­pick­ing Meyer’s re­place­ment. This comes af­ter the de­ci­sion by Saru’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee late last year to not ad­ver­tise the post.

Roux will lead the process as CEO, but will be as­sisted by Saru’s ex­ec­u­tive team.

Their fi­nal sug­ges­tion for the re­place­ment will only be ap­proved in March at Saru’s next meet­ing, where the pres­i­dents and ex­ec­u­tives of all 14 unions will be present. If Saru wants to make an an­nounce­ment ear­lier, a spe­cial meet­ing would need to be sched­uled.

Rassie Eras­mus will, in the mean­time, carry some of the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the Bok coach be­cause of his cur­rent role as Saru’s rugby chief.

An anony­mous source says the mes­sage is clear: “There is no rush with the ap­point­ment of the new coach. It’s more im­por­tant that the right per­son is cho­sen.”

Roux him­self, in a meet­ing held in De­cem­ber, pre­sented the cri­te­ria con­tenders have to meet.

“The cri­te­ria Jurie com­piled were im­pres­sive and the gen­eral coun­cil ap­proved it,” said the source.

There was a pos­si­bil­ity Roux and his team would make these cri­te­ria avail­able to the me­dia to­mor­row, when Saru’s of­fices opened again, said the source.

In short, Meyer’s suc­ces­sor will need to meet the min­i­mum re­quire­ment of a win­ning per­cent­age of 60% or higher at Cur­rie Cup level. Roux and his team will be es­pe­cially in­ter­ested in look­ing at where the var­i­ous con­tenders’ teams fin­ished in their re­spec­tive league rank­ings.

Another im­por­tant part of the cri­te­ria is the can­di­date’s me­dia record – it will be in­ves­ti­gated whether he was in­volved in any con­tro­ver­sial in­ci­dents and whether he has a good work­ing re­la­tion­ship with the press.

If the ap­pli­cant does not re­alise the im­por­tance of trans­for­ma­tion with an eye on the 2019 World Cup, then there is no way he will be ap­pointed.

The names on Roux’s short list are still un­known, al­though Al­lis­ter Coet­zee’s should still be on top.

The Kobe Steel Ko­belco Steel­ers coach meets the cri­te­ria and it is known that he and Eras­mus, who can play an im­por­tant role with de­fence guru Jac­ques Nien­aber be­hind the scenes, have a good work­ing re­la­tion­ship.

Coet­zee’s Ja­panese club will, ac­cord­ing to City Press’ sis­ter pa­per Rap­port’s in­for­ma­tion, not stand in his way of be­com­ing the Bok coach. Coet­zee served as right-hand man to World Cup win­ner Jake White from 2004 to 2007.

Lions coach Jo­han Ack­er­mann and Hur­ri­canes for­wards coach John Plumtree’s names prob­a­bly also ap­pear on the short list.

Eras­mus him­self has a good track record and is seen by many as the most suit­able can­di­date, but it is un­clear whether he will avail him­self.

Ore­gan Hoskins has de­nied he is plan­ning to re­sign from his po­si­tion as Saru pres­i­dent.

His term only ends in 2018, but he has ap­par­ently con­sid­ered re­sign­ing due to pres­sure. The drama be­fore and af­ter the World Cup sup­pos­edly also gave him some food for thought.

Another source, how­ever, says Hoskins en­joys the sup­port of the ma­jor­ity of the unions and no one – as yet – has been iden­ti­fied as a re­place­ment.

Saru

PHOTO: DEN­ZIL MAREGELE

RE­SPON­SI­BIL­ITY CEO Jurie Roux

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