Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee is confident that 2017 will bring about a turnaround in the team’s fortunes.
The South Africans tackle France in a three-Test home series this month, with the first match scheduled for Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.
In 2016, during Coetzee’s first season in charge, the Boks won only four out of 12 Tests.
It gave Coetzee a paltry 33% win-record, the worst of any Bok coach in the professional era.
“We as players, management and coaches were not proud of last year’s season and I think we now have another opportunity to resurrect things,” Coetzee said on SuperSport's Afrikaans rugby programme SuperRugby on Monday night.
“During December when people were on holiday we had to put in the work to make sure that our planning for the year ahead is thorough so we can turn things around.
“There are 50 million proud South Africans that would like to see the Boks perform this year. And we did not take that lightly at all. We want to have a fast start this weekend.”
Coetzee was only named Springbok coach in April last year and he claims a lack of proper preparation time played a part in the team’s woes.
“We didn’t have enough time to prepare last year. For every international coach, time is of essence - how much time you have to prepare before the first Test...” Coetzee continued.
He added that last week’s training camp held in seaside town Plettenberg Bay will stand the team in good stead.
“If you want to create a healthy team environment, you need time with the players. The players need time together. That needs to happen away from the busy city life, away from the media in a small place that goes under the radar. And I think we planted the seeds in Plettenberg Bay to help us create a good team environment in the long run.”