It’s that time of the year again, when we all resolve to pursue
those elusive goals or desirous state that we’ve been chasing for so long.
Alternatively, it might just be some new
“need” or “want” or even fantasy that crossed our path during the year-end
holidays and which has now become the focus of our attention.
Whatever it is, every year we believe that if
we start the year off with good intentions it might just pull us along for long
enough so that we can reach that better, healthier and improved version of
For some of us, those with the right degree of determination
to do or not to do something, or even to solve a problem or some contentious
matter, the New Year’s Resolution business can yield some positive results. For
the majority though, it has become a fantasy game we play and repeat every
For example, this year I decided to compile a list of New
Year’s Resolutions for the Springbok coach!
So on Thursday morning, January 1, 2015 I
went on a fantasy joyride and imagined myself as the Springbok rugby coach
sitting down to make a list of the SIX things I am determined to do in 2015.
As a passionate rugby nation with thousands
of wannabe coaches I know that I definitely wasn’t the only “coach” who tried
to resolve some of the controversial issues the Springboks face ahead of the
2015 Rugby World Cup.
My first and most important New Year’s Resolution is to
ensure that calm returns to the coach’s box at Test matches. Yes, I know that I
am the main culprit, but I vouch to introduce a more respectable decorum for
myself and the other coaches that share the space with me. No more shouting, jumping and screaming in
the coach’s box when the Springboks score a try or when Willie drops the
ball. It is embarrassing to both me and the millions of television viewers that
has to endure the outbursts. The
discipline and dedication I expect from my players also applies to me. I unreservedly apologise for my past
Secondly, I will apologise to the Springbok supporters for misleading
them about Bakkies Botha. I was
genuinely under the impression that he will still be around for the World Cup
in 2015. I must say, the announcement by
Bakkies caught me by surprise. I am
worried and as a result I have decided to inform Victor Matfield and Fourie du
Preez that unless they prove their fitness and readiness for the RWC in the
2015 Super Rugby tournament, I will not consider them for the squad. I am dead serious about this because I am not
prepared to take any chances with fragile players while the best in the world
gather to smash us into the ground.
Thirdly, I will inform Morne Steyn that he is not going to
the 2015 RWC and that’s it! I have
already informed Patrick Lambie and Handre Pollard that they are my number one
and two respectively and that I expect them to be ready for big things at the
2015 RWC. We have more than enough
quality flyhalves around and in the event of injury to anyone of the two I can
fall back on Johan Goosen or Marnitz Boshoff.
I am determined to keep the momentum we have created in the team around
an all-round attacking mindset and both Lambie and Pollard are pivotal to its
successful execution. I am so excited about
what these two offer South African rugby!
Fourthly, I promise to resist the temptation to go
conservative at the back and get rid of Willie le Roux. I know there are rumours about the return of
Zane Kirchner, but I would like to assure you my mind is made up. Willie will
stay and I will continue to give him the freedom to create and attack when he
sees fit, also at the RWC. Le Roux,
Habana, Pollard, Lambie, Petersen (JP & Cornal). I get goosebumps my
My fifth New Year’s Resolution is to clarify who the number
one hooker is in the Springbok set-up. I
will inform Bismarck du Plessis that he is my official number one and that he
will start every Springbok match if he is fit. I have realised that the Springboks are at their very best when Bismarck
and Duane (Vermeulen) play the full eighty minutes. There is no way that I will ever again take
anyone of my two best players off the field before the final whistle.
Finally, and this might come as a huge shock to my loyal
fans: I have thought long and hard about
my future and will in due course inform SARU that if we don’t win the RWC this
year I will not be staying on as coach. South Africa is blessed with world class coaches who deserve a crack at
the next world cup in 2019. I believe
guys like Allister Coetzee, Johan Ackerman, Paul Treu and others have proven
themselves worthy to coach at the highest level. I see it as my contribution to the
development of South African rugby. However, if we win, I believe I would have earned the right to continue
as Springbok coach and defend the title in 2019.
Whether these New Year’s Resolutions are fact or fantasy is
not for me to say, but in a rugby mad country like ours each fan will have
his/her own opinion of the coach and team selection. However, in this case, I will hold thumbs
that a few of my New Year’s Resolutions are realised in 2015.
Gary Boshoff is a former SARU player (1984-1986)
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