Springboks

Coetzee: Transformation issues a 'perception'

2017-12-04 16:29
Allister Coetzee (Getty)

Johannesburg - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee believes it is a "perception" that he is not doing enough to facilitate transformation in the national side. 

The Boks arrived back in the country on Monday after a northern hemisphere tour that saw them win two and lose two Tests, taking their overall tally for 2017 to: Played 13, won 7, lost 4, drawn 2. 

Coetzee has been heavily criticised during his two-year tenure with the Boks and his future is uncertain following an international season that saw him lose 57-0 to the All Blacks and 38-3 to Ireland. 

Results aside, Coetzee has also been criticised for his stance on transformation, with few black players regular starters in the current side. 

But, speaking from OR Tambo International on Monday, Coetzee said that suggestions that he was not backing black players were "a perception".

"Lukhanyo Am, unfortunately, was injured for most of the year," Coetzee explained.

"Siya (Kolisi) had to go back home, Beast (Mtawarira) had an injury.

"It's not like I'm sitting with these players for six months where I can play them in a competition. I'm not someone for window-dressing. I'm here for succession planning."

Coetzee acknowledged that the political climate that came with the Springbok coaching job did make things more complicated.

"I've got to make sure that we deliver on our STP (Sustainability and transformation plan) ... a transformation plan that has been accepted by SA Rugby and the government.

"With all these challenges ... yes, you will make a mistake or two. But there are reasons why ... it's not because I don't understand what's going on ... I understand fully what's going on and I understand the bigger picture.

"If you're looking in two years time and you need to go to the World Cup with 50% representation, where do you think I can go buy that? I can't go buy that ... I need to give the players opportunity to feel comfortable at international level and compete.

"That is where we are and you can't make as if this doesn't exist. There is an agreement and that's what I'm adhering to."

Read more on:    springboks  |  allister coetzee  |  rugby
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