Allister Coetzee looks set to be named the new Springbok coach in December.
It has reliably been learnt that Heyneke Meyer has lost the support of the majority of South Africa’s provincial unions and will be replaced at the General Council meeting of the South African Rugby Union on 11 December.
SARU has already postponed their General Council meeting by a week, to 11 December. It will be preceeded by a meeting of the Executive Council on 9 December.
Current team manager Ian Schwartz, who is employed as a permanent staff member of SARU, has apparently flown to Japan to speak to former Springbok Assistant Coach and DHL Stormers Head Coach, Allister Coetzee, to take over the national team.
Coetzee has an exit clause in his contract with Kobelco Steelers – the club he coaches in the Japanese Top League.
It is uncertain at this stage what will happen to the rest of Meyer’s coaching staff – which include Ricardo Loubscher (backline), Johann van Graan (forwards), Pieter de Villiers (scrum) John McFarland (defence) and Basil Carzis (conditioning).
It is known that Van Graan has thrown his name into the Stormers coaching hat – a list that also includes John Mitchell (the apparently runaway leader in that race), John Dobson, Brendan Venter, Robbie Fleck, Paul Treu, Frans Ludeke and Jerome Paarwater.
The DHL Stormers and Southern Kings are the only franchises who have not finalised their coaching set-ups for 2016.
However, the Southern Kings will be run by SARU – which means the national body’s mobi unit is likely to fill the coaching position in Port Elizabeth.
The biggest gripe against Meyer has been that the Springboks have not progressed, but rather regressed, in the past 4 years.
There are also issues surrounding transformation by some of the political animals in the SARU structures.
Coetzee is also of course the man that will tick SARU’s transformation box (like Peter de Villiers did in 2008).