Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Springbok coach to be announced.

All rugby fans awaits the big announcement of the day, possibly. Who will be appointed to fill the shoes of Jake White, victorious Springbok rugby coach, turned marketing guru? Amongst the hopefuls are Chester Williams, former Springbok wing in the victorious 1995 world champions, Allister Coetzee, 'backline coach' of the victorious Springboks of 2007 and Peter de Villiers (with his french colonial ? surname), World cup winner on the junior levels. The question is of course, will the powers that be, make the bold move to appoint a Bruin headcoach ?

All three of these candidates have achieved a lot since our re-admission to the world stage. As national coach, maybe Chester is maybe the odd-man-out, as his coaching experience is certainly not enough. Allister, was not very prominent in the 2007 World cup campaign and it seems as if Eddie Jones overshadowed him and some would say, 'bailed him out' at the end in terms of the impact of our backline. He did not impress as a key member of Jakes staff, sorry and that leave us with de Villiers, who certainly had his fair share of glory. If we put him up against Heyneke Meyer, it might however seem as if Meyer has the upper hand.

Apparently the 'players union' (SARPA), brought out their 'vote'. They, of course, are not part of the panel and certainly cannot be the eventual employer of their coach. If their voice is something to go by then it seems as if it will be Heyneke Meyer. It makes sense as Meyer has a truckload of credibility as a coach of the Super 14 winners, the Bulls. Be that as it may, the question is however should another white (no pun intended !)person take the team to the next World Cup at the expense of upcoming coaches of colour ? The appointment of de Villiers, will certainly open up the game as he is a firm and outspoken advocate for transformation. His track record shows, more than Meyer, that transformation and winning are not ad odds with each other and that particular skills are needed to 'get the mix' right. Being respected at the grassroots, but also amongst the juniors of a few years ago, his appointment will certainly send the right message to the townships, to Bruin and Black communities and budding talent, which certainly will effect the growth of the game. On the other hand, we also need to send out a message that breaks the apartheid myth, namely that people always only look after our own, at the expense op common sense and reality.

It seems as if the best way would be think in terms of and to go for a combination, which draw out the strengths from two candidates. Allister, in a sense, had his chance, but he has strong support from Jake White and also much needed experience on international level. His appointment (again) as support coach or even head coach will however be a surprise. Chester, with all due respect to him, is out of the equation. The appointment of Meyer, with de Villiers, as assistant will put two strong bulls (not Blue Bulls!) in one kraal, which will be an interesting dynamic. This would not come as a surprise and if we should have any reservations, then it would be the question of continuity. But then, de Villiers knows the juniors, who are and will be coming through the ranks for at least, the next 2-3 years and Meyer, knows the real Bulls, which seem to be currently the backbone of the Bokteam. Whichever way the announcement of Oregan Hoskins goes, it should be an interesting period for South African rugby.

No comments: