Long wait for new SA coach
The next man will be hand-picked by Jurie Roux
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.
RESPONSIBILITY CEO Jurie Roux