The drama and intrigue surrounding Allister Coetzee and the Springbok coaching situation is going to spill over into 2018.
Coetzee reportedly met with new director of rugby Rassie Erasmus on Wednesday, with various reports suggesting that the Springbok coach will be fired before the end of the year. However, SA Rugby confirmed via email that their plans will only be made known next year.
“To assist media in their reporting and in light of considerable speculation, please be advised that SA Rugby will not be in a position to respond to questions regarding that speculation on the coaching of the national team until the New Year,” the statement read.
“A number of meetings and reviews are in progress on all national teams after which plans for all teams in 2018 will be confirmed.”
Coetzee finished the year with seven wins, three better than in 206. But his overall record of 11 wins in 25 Tests — a 44% win ratio — is below the 65% requirement for the Bok coach. South Africa have suffered record defeats against the All Blacks and Ireland this year, while also losing to Italy and Argentina (away) for the first time in their history in 2016.
Various names have been linked to the Bok job, with Erasmus himself rumoured to be looking to play a more “hands on” role after returning from his stint with Munster. Erasmus is also likely to bring in a new defence coach in his good friend Jacques Nienaber, as well as former France prop Pieter de Villiers as scrum coach.
Current Southern Kings coach Deon Davids has also been punted as a possible replacement if Coetzee loses his job.