Rugby Championship

Will Coetzee call up reinforcements?

2017-09-18 16:51
Bismarck du Plessis (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - With Springbok coach Allister Coetzee on the ropes once more, there are many who are calling for a massive shake-up in the national side. 

Rassie Erasmus is set to join as Director of Rugby at the start of 2018, but until then Coetzee must find a way to convince the South African rugby public that he is on the right track. 

He has now lost 41-13, 57-15 and 57-0 in his three matches in charge against the All Blacks, and Saturday's disaster in Albany was another low point in a coaching career that seems to be struggling to survive. 

Players were exposed all over the park on Saturday, and with two matches left in this year's Rugby Championship campaign Coetzee may be tempted to look abroad for reinforcements for home matches against the Wallabies in Bloemfontein (September 30) and the All Blacks in Cape Town (October 7). 

Raymond Rhule is one player who has come in for criticism following Saturday's clash in Albany as he missed nine tackles, but there does not appear to be too much depth at wing. 

This has prompted calls for Coetzee to look at recalling Toulon's JP Pietersen, who has come into the conversation given his proven strength both on defence and in the air. 

Ruan Combrinck, meanwhile, is another option at wing and is currently in Japan on duty for the Kintetsu Liners. He is also available for the Boks should he be called up. 

In line with SA Rugby's new policy on overseas-based players, only those with 30 or more Springbok caps are eligible for national call-ups if they are based overseas. 

However, Combrinck is still based in South Africa with the Lions and is available for selection despite currently playing in Japan and having just seven Test caps. 

At flank, Coetzee has the option of recalling Bath-based Francois Louw, especially given the injury to Jaco Kriel. 

At hooker, the Boks also struggled on Saturday with Malcolm Marx missing a number of lineouts. The inexperience of Bongi Mbonambi on the bench was also noticeable on Saturday. Should Coetzee want to, he could also go back to Bismarck du Plessis (Montpellier). 

The other overseas-based player who could come into the reckoning is Montpellier's Frans Steyn, who featured in South Africa's 3-0 series win against France in June. 

Read more on:    springboks  |  rugby championship  |  rugby


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