Monaco - Former Springbok captain Morne du Plessis says it is “too simplistic” to blame the struggles of the national side on the head coach.
Under the leadership of the now sacked Allister Coetzee, the Boks notched up just 11 wins from 25 fixtures over 2016 and 2017.
That return will never be good enough for a Springbok team, and it ultimately cost Coetzee his job.
While a new head coach is yet to be named, Rassie Erasmus has come in as Director of Rugby and is the man tasked with rescuing the Boks and turning them back into a competitive force by the time the Rugby World Cup rolls around in 2019.
“One of the major issues is the attraction of our players into Europe,” Du Plessis said from Monaco at the Laureus World Sports Awards.
“We tend to look at a coach to try and find a simple answer, but there are a lot of factors that we’re challenged with and a lot being the financial issues.
“If we had every one of those players in South Africa at the moment, the Bismarck du Plessis' as an example, they might not get into the national team but they raise the level of competition in our domestic rugby.
“I believe we face some challenges that aren’t going to just be solved by having a great coach.”
Du Plessis is, however, remaining optimistic and is keen to see how the Boks perform under Erasmus when they host England in three Tests in June.
“I’m sure there are plans. We’re always going to be competitive,” Du Plessis said.
“I don’t give up hope. We do the dips, maybe a bit too often these days, but we’re going to be competitive.”
* Lloyd Burnard is in Monaco as a guest of Laureus ...