Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Jake White says current incumbent Allister Coetzee is not the only man to blame for the national team’s current woes.
Under Coetzee’s guidance, the Springboks have won only 11 of 25 Tests - a meagre 44% win-ratio that is likely to see him lose his job.
But White, who led the Springboks to Rugby World Cup success in 2007, feels the administrators who appointed Coetzee should also carry some of the blame.
“How can Allister Coetzee take all the blame? He was appointed by people who said he was good enough to do the job and now that the results haven’t gone our way, only he is being held responsible,” White wrote via a column for the All Out Rugby website.
According to White, the problems with the national team did not happen overnight.
“It’s not like everything was going well and then Allister was appointed and we suddenly fell over. This has been coming for a long time,” White continued.
“On Saturday we lost against a Wales B team. We never used to lose to Wales. Nick Mallett lost to Wales for the first time in 1999, now they’ve beaten us twice in a row. How did that happen?
“I see Allister’s performance is going to be reviewed, but where’s the review of SA Rugby’s board? Many of the people involved in making key decisions in SA Rugby have been there for the duration of the slide from world champions to sixth on the rankings.”
There have been calls for Coetzee to step down but White said he had sympathy having been in a similar position.
“There’s a plea for him to ‘do the honourable thing’ and walk away. For me, the honourable thing is an open and frank audit on everybody at SA Rugby," White wrote.
“It’s incredible that SA Rugby are hiring people without even asking them to apply for positions. Rassie Erasmus didn’t apply to become the director of rugby, he was appointed. No-one is saying he’s not good enough, but the job was never advertised. Allister was given the Bok job, he didn’t apply for it. He didn’t have to do a presentation on his vision for the team. Which big corporation appoints a CEO without going through due process?”
White coached the Springboks between 2004 and 2007, but his contract was not renewed despite winning the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
The 53-year-old currently coaches the Toyota Verblitz club in Japan.
CLICK HERE to read Jake White’s full column on the All Out Rugby website