Hoskins calls for calm

2010-09-18 21:26
Oregan Hoskins (File)
Johannesburg - SARU president Oregan Hoskins has asked for calm amid growing calls for the sacking of coach Peter de Villiers in the wake of a woeful international season thus far.

According to the allblacks.com website, the Springboks have lost five out of 10 Tests, all in the Tri-Nations where they also turned in their worst display in the competition's 15-year history.

It has prompted calls for De Villiers to be replaced in the build up to next year's Rugby World Cup defence, but Hoskins thinks otherwise.

Answering questions posed by fans in a weekly newsletter, he cast his memory back a year prior to the 2007 finals in France when then coach Jake White endured an equally torrid campaign losing five out of nine Test during the same time span.

Hoskins said: "Four years ago many people thought the answer was to sack Jake White and we resisted those calls.

"Four years on and we have to review all our options once more.

"A few years ago SA rugby was lambasted for changing coaches too frequently and throwing players away.

"Now we have consistency we have to guard against it becoming a tyrant in our selections."

His comments come 10 days before he will come face-to-face with the national coach in a routine mid-season review.

Apart from the poor run of performances, the Springbok boss also faces a grilling over recent comments in the media where he said his team was "100 percent" behind Bees Roux - the Bulls rugby player arrested and charged with the alleged killing of Pretoria policeman Ntshimane Mogale.

Hoskins denied De Villiers was being treated differently from previous coaches when dealing with his off-field behaviour.

He continued: "This is a subject we have raised with the coach and both he and I have written to the family of Mr Mogale to express our personal condolences.

"However, a perception was created and we have addressed this issue with the coach and are discussing remedies with him.
"There is consistency (with treatment of De Villiers. The coach was reviewed at the end of the 2008 and 2009 Tri-Nations and is being reviewed once again.

"He has previously been called to account for his comments and the subject will again form part of his review.

"He is being treated no differently to his predecessor who was also reviewed at the end of some indifferent Tri-Nations campaigns."

Hoskins also hit out at those saying that some of the national players, including the likes of captain John Smit and deputy Victor Matfield, were "too old", insisting that youth alone did not guarantee success.

He added: "Just in general terms it's interesting to note that youth is no indicator of success at Rugby World Cups.

"The English team that won in 2003 had 13 players of 30 or older in their squad and Australia had eight in 1999.

"If we took all the currently contracted Springboks to the Rugby World Cup next year there would be only six of 30 or older."

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