Pretoria - Despite 2016 being a year of horror results for the Springbok team, coach Allister Coetzee has reiterated that he is going nowhere and sees this as a “great opportunity” to turn things around.
Coetzee arrived back on Monday in South Africa as the season closed with the worst ever year for the Springboks, losing 8 out of 12 tests in a calendar season and making calls for Coetzee’s head to roll grow even louder after a tour where they lost to England, Italy and Wales.
But the Bok coach is defiant, and underlined more than once that he is not planning to walk away from the task he took on in April, and will now address certain aspects with his bosses when his season review takes place in the next few weeks.
Coetzee said he understands the disappointment of fans, but believes while there may be many who want him to go, there are just as many who want him to stay.
“I can understand that the supporters are disappointed and so are we. I can understand it and in any job it would be the case,” he said.
“But I’m appointed until 2019. I want to make sure that whenever I leave there is a concrete tangible blueprint not just put in place by me but in collaboration with the franchise coaches so we can say this is how we want South Africa to play going forward.
“This is how we are going to contract players and this is how we want our players’ conditioning levels to be going forward to play against the best.
“Whatever the spectators feel out there, those are also just perceptions, there are also many who feel I must stay on.
“ I am a guy who will never walk away from anything and there is a great opportunity to turn things around.”
The Bok coach added that he believes he has a plan to turn things around, and will present it to his bosses when he meets them.
“These are issues we still have to discuss but I have a good idea of what to put in place and how to react,” he added.
“There will have to be changes made, but it is too early. I will have to sit down with South African rugby.
“I will wait for my review, when that will take place. I don’t have a date but I am sure it will be done before the recess and from there things will kick in, and it will be all systems go from there.
“But it is good to not react emotionally on certain things. We need to take the emotion out of it and have clear plans that will last, and not just short term solutions.”
The Bok coach added that his belief in himself had been tested this season, but that he was certain he was right to carry on.
“It does test everything as a person – firstly my faith and thankfully I’m still alive and kicking through the grace of God. That has been my strength,” he explained.
“As a person you do doubt when things don’t go right. But once you believe in your plan and your players around you and your captain, that assemble every Monday and you buy into the energy and enthusiasm, that keeps you going.”
The Bok coach’s review will be handled in the next few weeks, with the whole country waiting with bated breath to hear how SA Rugby plan to turn the failing fortunes of the national team around.
The Boks have fallen from second in the world, when Coetzee took over, to sixth at this point of the year.
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