Cape Town - Former Springbok wing Chester Williams is struggling understand the tactics employed by the current team.
READ: Chester Williams' thoughts on the Blitzboks' success
The Springboks, under the guidance of head coach Allister Coetzee, have struggled over the last two years, winning just 11 of 25 Tests for a meagre 44% win-record.
Williams, a 1995 Rugby World Cup winner, spoke exclusively to Sport24 and shared his view on the Springboks’ struggles.
“I believe a combination of factors have contributed to the Boks’ slide to sixth in the World Rugby rankings,” Williams said. “The balance between the backs and forwards doesn’t seem to be working and it’s a concern that the players aren’t gelling well. I’m not too sure what’s happening with the Boks from a game play perspective and, when it comes to strategy, I can’t put my finger on what they are trying to achieve. From the outside looking it, we can’t see that there is a definite plan in place. Sometimes the only game plan seems to be the kicking and I’m not sure why, when we are on the front foot, we are kicking away possession. Our tactics are a big question mark for me.”
Williams also questioned some selections made by Coetzee.
“In terms of team selection, I wouldn’t say I have been disappointed, but the recently concluded end-of-year tour represented a great opportunity to give a player like Warrick Gelant an opportunity to showcase his talent and fit into the team in his rightful position of fullback. I believe the Boks missed a trick by not giving Gelant an opportunity to stake his claim at fullback. (Andries Coetzee started all 13 Tests at fullback for South Africa this season).”
Williams continued by highlighting the scrumhalf position as an area of concern for the Boks.
“It appears as if the selectors are not sure what they are looking for. It’s up to the coaching staff to outline the scrumhalf’s role, responsibility and the attributes he needs to bring to the Springbok team. I’m not too sure who is the answer at scrumhalf for South Africa because I don’t know what the Bok game plan is and how they see a scrumhalf playing the game. When picking playing personnel, you have to be clear in terms of the brand of rugby you want to play. At the moment it’s difficult because they Boks haven’t settled on a clear playing style and they are lacking an identity. I would like to see the Springboks play more of an expansive, attack-minded game and they need to find the balance between a kicking and running game.”
However, despite the Boks' woes, Williams believes Coetzee can still turn around their fortunes.
“I believe Allister can still do the job as national coach and, with Rassie Erasmus’ (SA Rugby's director of rugby) support behind him, he could be successful in the next year or two. We are at a point in Springbok rugby where we need intelligent coaches that think outside the box.”