Cape Town - A performance clause was not written into the contract of under-fire Springbok coach Allister Coetzee, a local newspaper has indicated.
SA Rugby announced late last week that a decision regarding Coetzee’s future will only be made in the New Year.
Coetzee is fighting to keep his job after two tumultuous seasons in charge of the national team.
During his tenure the Boks won only 11 of 25 Tests for a meagre 44% win-record.
It was believed that Coetzee needed a 65% win-record to stay at the helm but that may not be the case.
Afrikaans newspaper Rapport reported on Sunday that Coetzee’s four-year contract does not include a specific performance clause.
It’s by now an open secret that SA Rugby wants to get rid of the Bok coach and the report further stated that the national rugby governing body believes it has a valid “verbal agreement” regarding what Coetzee's merit requirements are.
Coetzee has reportedly sought legal advice and is confident that SA Rugby cannot use his 44% win-record as a reason for dismissal.
The review process of Coetzee’s performance, that was supposed to take place last Wednesday, never took place, Rapport further reported.
It has been delayed until January 16.
Via a press statement released last Friday, SA Rugby refrained from commenting on the matter until the New Year.
"To assist media in their reporting and in light of considerable speculation, please be advised that SA Rugby will not be in a position to respond to questions regarding that speculation on the coaching of the national team until the New Year," the statement read.
"A number of meetings and reviews are in progress on all national teams after which plans for all teams in 2018 will be confirmed."
Despite all the criticism, Coetzee is eager to stay on as national coach.
After returning from the Springboks' year-end tour to Europe, where the team won two of four Tests, Coetzee said they had made massive progress in 2017.
"I'm signed on until 2019. That's what my contract says. The team has really grown. It’s a really healthy team environment," Coetzee said earlier this month.
He added: "They (the Springbok players) are hurting at the moment. They feel that they let themselves down and the country down. You can only feel like that if you have a good team environment. That wasn't the case last year. Last year was a fiasco. Definitely a fiasco."
Should SA Rugby prove successful in parting ways with Coetzee, a new Springbok coach may not be a appointed, with director of rugby Rassie Erasmus in charge.
Afrikaans website, Netwerk24, last week indicated Erasmus may merely appoint assistants to work under him.
Erasmus, in his new role, will have full control over Springbok team selections and game plans.
Defence guru Jacques Nienaber will be part of the coaching team, while former France prop Pieter de Villiers has been mentioned as a possible scrum coach.