Cape Town - SA Rugby is reportedly considering a top New Zealand coach to replace Allister Coetzee in the Springbok job, with the Chiefs' Dave Rennie identified as a candidate.
According to Afrikaans newspaper, Rapport, work has already begun behind the scenes to look at possible candidates to replace the embattled Coetzee, whose Springboks won only four of 12 Tests in 2016.
There are, however, stumbling blocks that stand in SA Rugby’s way of getting rid of Coetzee.
The national governing body is struggling financially, while axing Coetzee would also not appease the ANC, Rapport suggested on Sunday.
Coetzee is set to face a performance appraisal by a sub-committee of SA Rugby, and will know his fate after a December 13 meeting.
In order to fire Coetzee, it is suggested that SA Rugby would need to turn to broadcast partner SuperSport to provide financial assistance in order to buy the coach out of the remaining three years of his contract.
It would cost in the region of R13m to get rid of Coetzee.
Meanwhile Rennie, who led the Chiefs to the Super Rugby title in 2012 and 2013, is believed to have strong support at the highest level of SA Rugby, while the names of Rassie Erasmus and Jake White also mentioned in the report.
It's been a horrific year for the Boks, which included a first ever home loss to Ireland, a first away reverse to Argentina, a record 57-15 home defeat to New Zealand, while ending their year-end European tour with losses to England, Italy and Wales.