Cape Town - Legendary flyhalf Naas Botha has questioned Springbok coach Allister Coetzee’s ability to pick the right team for Test rugby.
Coetzee has overseen arguably the worst season for South Africa since the country was readmitted to international rugby in 1992, culminating in a 27-13 loss to Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
That was the eighth defeat in 12 Tests this year, including a first to Italy, a first at home to Ireland and a first away to Argentina.
The two-time world champions were also humiliated by a record 57-15 margin at home by arch rivals, the All Blacks.
Botha, speaking in the SuperSport studio after Saturday’s loss to Wales, said it would be tough for Coetzee to continue in the job.
“I think it’s going to be very difficult to turn it around now. From what we’ve seen so far... are you seriously going to believe it now (that he can turn it around),” Botha questioned.
Botha said Coetzee’s team had shown no improvement in their play for six months and nothing suggested that there would be a change in fortunes.
“I’m going to ask you why didn’t you change it six months ago?”
Botha also hit at Coetzee’s team selections.
“The head coach is in control and he is responsible... but I’ve got too many question marks about selection. And I think one problem that Allister really has, is he’s a poor selector. We started off with a backline where he played a fullback that’s not really a No 1 fullback, not a specialist fullback, then we played a scrumhalf on the wing, then we turned the centres inside-outside, and outside-inside...
“So, out of seven selections in a backline, we’ve got four question marks. And then we’ve seen players for a long time not playing well, but they stay in the team. And then we see good players, who are in form, but not in the team. And just as an outsider I look at it and sometimes I question it... this is not what we see week in and week out... he’s got the final say and I’ve got some serious question marks about his ability as a selector.”
Botha, 58, played 28 Tests for the Springboks between 1980 and 1992. He has been a television pundit for over 20 years.