Cape Town – Cost-cutting by SA Rugby during his troubled, now deeply endangered two-year tenure thus far has clearly riled Springbok coach Allister Coetzee.
Key details of his recent, in-depth letter to SARU chief executive Jurie Roux have already been published by various media, the gist of it being his belief that many of the problems that have bedevilled his tenure – including a win percentage of only 44 by the national team – are due to factors beyond his control.
But additional information gleaned from the letter by Sport24 suggests that Coetzee became increasingly angered by steps – often seemingly for reasons of increased financial austerity – that thwarted him from getting what he wanted in several respects.
“Toetie” also laments his belief that predecessors like Jake White (he was part of the RWC-winning coach’s back-up team in 2007) and Heyneke Meyer were generally better treated and had superior powers in certain aspects of their posts.
He states in the letter: “I was and still am being treated fundamentally and prejudicially differently from Meyer and Jake White.”
He provides a specific panel in which he draws comparisons – many of which he considers unfavourable to him – in back-up support earlier provided to Meyer (who, nevertheless, sports a considerably superior win record for the Boks of 66.6 percent than he currently does).
Coetzee starts the comparison by reminding that, unlike Meyer, he was “not allowed own management team … only Matt Proudfoot” and was hamstrung by the presence for varying lengths of time of “four different defence coaches” (Jacques Nienaber, Chean Roux, JP Ferreira and Brendan Venter).
He claims he had no specialist breakdown consultant, whereas his immediate predecessor did, and only one “analyst” to Meyer’s two.
The incumbent says Meyer enjoyed the services of more than one psychologist, as opposed to his own “seven days” of usage of one.
Coetzee also says the services of a massage therapist were “discontinued” during his tenure, after being available more consistently to Meyer.
For further ammunition to his cost-cutting claims, Coetzee also reminds that the Springboks “flew economy (class) for the first time, 18 hours to Dublin, via Doha”, for the latest end-of-year-tour.
He says SARU, in another first, “compelled management team members” – though it is not clear if it included himself – to share hotel rooms.
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