Cape Town - Former Springbok wing Chester Williams believes under-fire national coach Allister Coetzee could still turn the team into a successful unit.
Coetzee is in the firing line after two below-par seasons in charge of the Springboks.
Under his guidance, the Boks have won only 11 of 25 Tests for a meagre 44% win-record.
Several reports have indicated that Coetzee, who has a 65% win-mandate, will lose his job in the coming weeks.
But Williams, who played 27 Tests form the Springboks between 1993 and 2000, believes Coetzee can improve if given the opportunity over the next two years.
Williams spoke exclusively to Sport24 and said Rassie Erasmus, who was recently appointed as SA Rugby’s director of rugby, could help guide Coetzee in his role.
“Allister Coetzee has copped plenty of criticism because the results haven’t gone our way and we haven’t played good rugby. As a coach, it’s challenging because you need time with your players and coaching staff in order to become a cohesive unit. With Johann van Graan and Brendan Venter having taken their leave, there will be a new management team in place in 2018,” Williams said.
“I believe Allister can still do the job as national coach and, with Rassie Erasmus’ 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.”
Williams, who previously coached the Blitzboks, said he still harbours hopes of one day also being involved in a coaching capacity with the Springboks.
“I was close to being appointed Springbok coach in 2004, but unfortunately I didn’t make it. (Williams lost out to Jake White, who guided the Springboks to the 2007 Rugby World Cup title). Of course, I still have dreams to get involved somehow with the Springbok team, but I have to bide my time and make sure that I get there whenever the time is right. I’m currently head coach of the UWC rugby team and this season we won the Varsity Shield, which was a great achievement. We are not too unhappy about failing to earn promotion this season because it will afford us more time to develop a team that can prove competitive in the Varsity Cup.”