Lack of quality coaches in SA

    2015-06-25 11:19

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - As attention turns away from this season's Super Rugby campaign from a South African perspective, only two of the country's franchises know who their head coaches will be for next season. 

    The late appointment of Franco Smith at the Cheetahs this season means that they know where they are headed in 2016, while Johan Ackermann and the Lions are enjoying more success than ever before. 

    But an air of uncertainty is currently hovering over the other four unions. Allister Coetzee must be replaced at the Stormers, Frans Ludeke at the Bulls and Gary Gold has confirmed that he will assume the Director of Rugby position next season and that the Sharks will appoint a new head coach. The Kings, meanwhile, have appointed Brent Janse van Rensburg as their Currie Cup coach but they too are looking for somebody new to take the reins in Super Rugby. 

    And finding a Super Rugby mentor in South Africa is not an easy thing, says Coetzee, who believes that there is a serious shortage of quality coaches in the country. 

    "It’s thin, really thin," Coetzee said of SA's coaching depth.

    "Why, I don’t know. I can’t give you a reason. All of sudden the coaches are not there or are too young or too inexperienced. It’s sad in a country like SA with such rich rugby history and talent to be looking around for coaches; it’s a concern."

    Coetzee, who departs for Japan next month, added that it was difficult to expect foreign coaches to make positive strides with South African sides.

    "We’re in such a unique phase of our development as a young democracy too. It’s going to be tough for any coach coming from outside; it’s really going to be tough," said Coetzee.

    "Coming to South Africa and trying to understand an Afrikaans boy from Benoni or Welkom’s mindset and what he’s thinking, the English boy from Constantia, the Xhosa boy and the coloured boy … it’s not just a technical thing of rugby that will fix that. You’ve got to have a good understanding of where we are as South Africans."

    Turning his attention to the Stormers, Coetzee said that if the union and Director of Rugby Gert Smal couldn't find somebody with experience, then they should perhaps look internally for his replacement.

    "It’s difficult if you’re not spoilt for choice. The biggest challenge is you have to keep winning here. Getting into finals and semi-finals, it’s not good enough anymore," said Coetzee.

    "I hope he (the new coach) gets all the support because he will need it. I know Gert is trying his utmost to get the right fit for the union, but like I say, there’s not a lot out there and also looking from within might not be a bad idea.

    "If it’s an experienced guy, then obviously he’s gone through the mill. I think it’s clear that if the person hasn’t had Super Rugby experience – or at international level - then you might as well look within. I think that is what Gert has made clear in the criteria."

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