Wanted: Next Bok coach, capt

2011-12-30 10:02

Johannesburg - South Africa will have a new coach, captain, stars and possibly style in 2012 as they make a fresh start after surrendering the Rugby World Cup trophy last October.

Hoping to become the first country to achieve back-to-back titles, the Springboks lost 11-9 to Australia in a quarter-final they dominated territorially only to be let down by poor finishing.

A South African pundit noted that the green and gold had become so used to playing without the ball in a kick-and-chase approach, they did not know what to do with it when given bountiful possession.

The Springboks have a 12-Test schedule next year, starting with three on consecutive June weekends at home to England, another country to make a last-eight exit from the World Cup in New Zealand.

These games will be followed by home and away Tests with Argentina, Australia and New Zealand in The Rugby Championship - the new name for the southern hemisphere championship with the Pumas joining the fold.

A traditional November tour includes matches in Ireland, Scotland and England and draws the curtains on a long campaign for top South Africans with a Super Rugby season plus possible Currie Cup commitments.

South African Rugby Union (SARU) officials say a successor to Springbok coach Peter de Villiers, whose four-year contract expired this month, will be named on January 27 in Cape Town.

Contractual obligations mean De Villiers will be considered as a coach is head hunted, but few pundits believe the Western Cape-based handler is going to get a second chance.

The media list of candidates includes Ireland assistant and former Springbok flank Gert Smal plus Super Rugby coaches Allister Coetzee of the Stormers, John Mitchell of the Lions and John Plumtree of the Sharks.

Rassie Erasmus and Heyneke Meyer, directors of coaching at Stormers and Bulls respectively, have also been mentioned as has Reds Super Rugby-winning coach Ewen McKenzie.

Retired Springbok lock Victor Matfield says Bulls coach Frans Ludeke should be considered and there was also backing for Australian Eddie Jones until he took over Japan this month.

Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett received support, too, but says he will not be returning to a post that has had 11 occupants in 19 years since South Africa returned from apartheid-induced isolation.

Coetzee, the only black among those likely to replace De Villiers, was the early media favourite but recent reports suggest ex-Springbok assistant coach Smal tops the SARU wish list.

Among the first tasks of the new boss will be to pick a successor to retired hooker John Smit as skipper and flank Schalk Burger is favoured ahead of older fellow loose forward Juan Smith, who missed the World Cup through injury.

Although Smit and Matfield are the only Boks to have quit the Test scene, centre Jaque Fourie and scrumhalf Fourie du Preez are off to Japan and prop Gurthro Steenkamp and lock Bakkies Botha to France.

De Villiers followed a tradition of concentrating on home-based stars although whoever takes over will surely consider Paris-based utility back Francois Steyn after his outstanding World Cup.

Bismarck du Plessis is an obvious replacement for Smit, Andries Bekker for Matfield, Tendai 'The Beast' Mtawarira for Steenkamp and Francois Hougaard for Du Preez.

Super Rugby form should decide who fills the giant shoes of 'enforcer' Botha if the coach sticks to local talent while Juan de Jongh could step up for Fourie and there will be pressure on wing Bryan Habana after an indifferent World Cup.

There is no shortage of rising stars with Patrick Lambie, Elton Jantjies and Johan Goosen eyeing the No 10 shirt worn by Morne Steyn and surprise World Cup omission Lwazi Mvovo is poised to put pressure on Habana.

But choosing the right coach will be crucial with a desperate need for a strong man who will not be held hostage by senior players and is brave enough to introduce a more expansive and less predictable game plan.

South Africa 2012 Test dates:


9 v England, Durban
16 v England, Johannesburg
23 v England, Port Elizabeth


18 v Argentina, Cape Town
25 v Argentina, Mendoza


8 v Australia, Perth
15 v New Zealand, Dunedin
29 v Australia, Pretoria


6 v New Zealand, Soweto


10 v Ireland, Dublin
17 v Scotland, Edinburgh
24 v England, London


  • peter.britz1 - 2011-12-30 10:14

    I don't think that Beast is a shoo in at loosehead. Guys like marcel vd Merwe, Coenie Oosthuizen and Dean Greyling might usurp him!

      Francois - 2011-12-31 22:09

      Also not the spelling ability of Thomas.

      Ruggad - 2012-01-02 16:25

      Hey sharkshoot, Beast is from Zim he aint a quota. The man is good, yes he may not be a shoe in but respect the man coz he worked hard to be where he is.

      Thomas - 2012-01-02 20:27

      Francios!! If you are so worried about typos in these blogs, you will spend 24/7 just making comments!! What is wanted is your rugby knowledge if you have any!!!!!!!

  • Johannes - 2011-12-30 10:30

    John Mitchell please!

      David - 2011-12-30 10:57

      Hell yeah! Astounding what he achieved with the Lions

      goyougoodthing - 2011-12-30 21:00

      Gert Smal will get the job.

  • Pieter Swanepoel - 2011-12-30 10:53

    Please guys the best coach is already in SA: John Mitchell! Don't make a mistake again!

  • trix.duvenage - 2011-12-30 11:05

    Wel ek dink dit gaan moeilik wees om te kies tussen 'n hele aantal goeie moontlikhede. Maar een ding voel ek redelik seker van: De Villiers kan nie sy stem dik genoeg maak as afrigter nie bloot omdat sy piepstemmetjie siek sal klink as hy dit probeer. Hy het eenvoudig nie die backbone om te staan teen die bee inmenging nie en as DIt nie kan gebeur nie kan die Springbokke maar vergeet om OOIT weer die WB te wen.

  • Grant - 2011-12-30 11:45

    The Head Coach will be crucial. No more choosing on reputation please......

  • Lloyd - 2011-12-30 12:38

    Alister for coach!

      Ian - 2011-12-30 13:03

      Eish Lloyd whilst my patriotism as a mountain goat also favours Alistair - we must admit we have won squat under him in CT and therefore our brain should decide this one. Ewen McKenzie?? now that's an interesting candidate - just look at what he did with the Reds - there's a success record of note. Whipping boys 5 years ago, now S15 Champs.

      Pieter - 2012-01-01 07:10

      @Llloyd HA HA HA Then the Boks can go 10 years cupless too

  • Travis - 2011-12-30 12:47

    "Bismarck du Plessis is an obvious replacement for Smit, Andries Bekker for Matfield, Tendai 'The Beast' Mtawarira for Steenkamp and Francois Hougaard for Du Preez." Sounds great to me, better even.

      john.swanepoel - 2011-12-30 14:20

      I agree...Bismarck should have been first choice for a while now, same applies for hougard. Future doesnt seem that bad at all.

      Adrian - 2011-12-30 20:41

      And Lambie for Morne

      CapeChappy - 2012-01-07 09:15

      It all sounds great, but common sense, logic and the interests of rugby are to often foreign concepts for SARU.

  • melt.vanaarde - 2011-12-30 13:01

    Betaal hulle `n kleiner salaris en gee goeie bonusse vir elke wen. Miskien leer ons speler dan weer om wenrugby te speel. Lyk nie meer EER en TROTS in vandag se sport is `n probleem vir spelers nie.Verloor of wen "So What" attitude is mos aan die orde van die dag.

  • Steve - 2011-12-30 13:27

    Lets have a possitive approach;Heineke an Smal and Sckalk as Captain.Please please not Snor.

      Johan - 2011-12-30 17:29

      Steve, Schalk het dit nie en hy gaan in elk geval weer 'n John Smith situasie skep teen die volgende WB. Kies 'n jong kaptein. Hou Small ook maar weg asb. (en natuurlik die huidige twee hulpafrigters!)

  • Phil - 2011-12-30 14:31

    If Mitchell is truly interestred then he should be considered. Hard to believe that the best coach for the job is not a SAfrican.

  • Andre Botes - 2011-12-30 15:20

    I honestly don't think we need a john mitchell or john plumtree. We have enough SA coaches like heyneke,ludeke,coetzee,rassie,smal,naka,jake,mallet,alan solomans,eugene eloff. We can go on and on. Why do we need a foreigner to coach south africa?

      Kosie - 2012-01-02 08:55

      are you mad eufene eloff, look what he did at the lions?

  • Colin - 2011-12-30 16:32

    Nice article, esp the remark about the terrible "kick-and-chase" approach. Half the World cup team were there on reputation only. Nothing came of Snor's promise (4 years ago) to be strict on form. May the new coach (hopefully Smal or Mitchell) have respect for the spirit of the game, as well as the balls to stand his ground. Habana has become a liability. Can he please go yesterday ?

  • Johan - 2011-12-30 17:25

    I can see why the author is unwilling to publish her/his name!

  • Sydwell Magocoba - 2011-12-30 20:13

    J Mitchell should be next Bok coach. I respect all the other candidates but none of them have had anything compared to the impact he has made to SA game. I'm excited to think of grooming Jantjies for the next WC and leading the following names. 15. P Lambie, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. De Jongh, 12. F Steyn, 11. Houggard, 10. Jantjies, 9. Vermaak, 8. Strauss, 7. Burger, 6. Brussow, 5. Bekker, 4. Alberts, 3. Du Plessis, 2. B Du Plessis, 1. Beast. F Steyn has shown once more that he is the best inside centre we have.

      derikbench - 2012-01-02 13:42

      Pretty good team on paper... but Josh Strauss might have to prove himself at the Lions for another season or so. No room for Derrick Minnie and Juan Smith?

      Sydwell Magocoba - 2012-01-04 18:20

      @Derikbench - I personally think Josh will be a legend. Minnie will probably become a bok but we have a lot of loosies in the country. If we are to replace Bakkies Botha, I think we need to dominate the breakdown and smash people - Alberts and Josh can do that. Schalk has proved to be quite a skilled ball player and Josh would compliment that along with Brussouw. Smith is injury prone and I fear his career will end soon. He is a legend

  • Susan - 2011-12-30 20:50

    For a country to win rwc and be consistent need to keep their coach for longer then 4 years Peter de Villiers should b asked to continue he should b re appointed it takes awhile to build players up as a team its now become quiet an educational task

      Squeegee - 2011-12-30 21:28

      Shame on you for making such a disturbing suggestion.

      David - 2011-12-30 22:08

      I was liking your comment for the whole first line. Then I went into cardiac arrest.

      maxafrica - 2011-12-31 09:33

      Well... the All Blacks re-appointed Graham Henry after their very poor 2007 world cup!!

      Vicky - 2012-01-05 01:28

      Good work Christopher. SA has only ever won the 7's title once, in 2008-09. This compares well to NZ's 9 wins. The winner of the Tri Nations has never gone on to win the World Cup so obviously they did not win both titles that year, NZ won the Tri nations in 07. NZ has won the Tri nations 10 times compared to SA and Oz 3 each. Otherwise a good intelligent point, well done.

  • Bethoven - 2011-12-30 21:26

    it seems the sa public would like a kiwi to coach the boks, i think thats a good idea although there is Heyneke Meyer and coetzee who i think have done well. i don't know, just saying but the boks are a hard team to keep down and they won't be down for much longer! Good luck for 2012

      derikbench - 2012-01-02 13:45

      You could easily see the NZ brand of rugby in the Lions play - and they won the Currie Cup. I think SA has the best pool of rugby players in the world, but the coaching might be lacking a bit. No forward thinking, and stuck in the amateur era of crashball rugby. SA players playing under NZ coaches might make us an unstoppable force, and groom future SA coaches.

      John - 2012-01-09 17:37

      Graeme Henry is looking around for gainful employment....

  • Andre Botes - 2011-12-30 23:48

    I think we as south africans should trust our own coaches. South africans know our culture and I think we need a south african as a coach. Sure plumtree and mitchell have done well in currie cups but look at the record a guy like ludeke,meyer and coetzee has not only on super 14 but also national level. One sparrow doesn't make it a summer. We should trust our own coaches. Mitchell was chased away by other teams including the all blacks. The only job they can still find is in south africa. We have good enough coaches. We don't need outside help.

      Johan - 2011-12-31 08:47

      Fully agree. Just remember the style of rugby that won the AB the WC this year (and other teams the previuos times) NOT expansive ragby!

  • smitcorne - 2011-12-31 04:49

    I think it will be a good idea for PDV to continue as coach. His got the experience now and can definitely correct where he went wrong last time. John Mitchel and Heyneke are good coaches, but we've only seen them on Super 15 level (where John Mitchel didn't do well, why suddenly Springbok coach, currie cup is far from International) and urrie cup. PDV is true South African and should be reappointed.

  • maxafrica - 2011-12-31 09:35

    Well... the All Blacks re-appointed Graham Henry after their very poor 2007 world cup!!

  • maxafrica - 2011-12-31 09:36

    Well... the All Blacks re-appointed Graham Henry after their very poor 2007 world cup!!

  • Pieter - 2012-01-01 07:09

    Pretty easy, make Heineke the coach and the Bulls team the Boks. 3 Super trophies in 4 years says it all

      Christopher Collings - 2012-01-02 03:45

      Without Bakkies, Matfield & Du Preez the Bulls won't be winning anything soon. Agreed fantastic record but that's all history.

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