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SpringboksThe positons of the Springbok coaching and management team for the 2016 season and beyond will be reviewed by the Executive Council (Exco) of the South African Rugby Union (SARU), SARU announced on Monday.

Jurie Roux, the chief executive officer of SARU, said that the contracts of all of the national team’s coaching, medical and logistical staff expire at the end of the year.

“The Executive Council (Exco) has the power to appoint management and coaching staff with the exception of the position of the Springbok coach, which is ultimately decided by the General Council of SARU,” said Roux.

“That body meets on 4 December when the positon of the Springbok coach for 2016 will be on the agenda. Once all affected individuals have been notified of any decisions a public announcement will be made, which is not expected before 5 December.

“We realise the great public interest in the subject and this is easily one of the most important decisions we take as an organisation. Supporters will understand therefore that we have many factors to consider before any announcements can be made. Those deliberations cannot take place in public out of respect for individuals and our governance structures.”

Media are advised that SARU will make no further comment on the process until any announcements have been made.

Mr Oregan Hoskins, SARU president, meanwhile thanked the returning Springboks and their coaching and management team for their efforts during the Rugby World Cup campaign.

“A bronze medal was not what we set out to achieve but it represents some reward for the way the Springboks pulled themselves back into the tournament after a devastating defeat by Japan,” he said.

“Ultimately we improved on our performance of 4 years ago and arguably gave the All Blacks their closest match of the tournament, but we know that that is not good enough and we will have to improve in many areas if we are to close and overtake New Zealand.

“I’d like to thank Heyneke Meyer and his 3 captains as well as the rest of the players and management for the effort and dedication they put into our Rugby World Cup campaign. They fought nobly for the jersey and could not have given more.”

The Springboks’ next test engagement is a 3-Test series against Ireland in South Africa in June.

(SA Rugby)


Any chance of a foreign coach being appointed?

Everyone will have to wait until December when SARU have their General Council meeting and officially appoint the next coach, which gives us a further month of rumours flying around.

If the position is still open then which options would SARU consider? There are many people that believe the Springboks need a foreign coach to shake their game up, but is that really possible?

Whoever is appointed Springbok coach in December will have to aim for the targets set by SARU in their Strategic Transformation Plan which Meyer has committed to.

That means that at the next Rugby World Cup in Japan half of the team will have to be players of colour, irrespective of who the coach is.

Those are pressures that do not exist in any other international coaching job, which naturally adds another dimension to the task and raises the question of whether the Springbok coach needs to be South African.

In Europe the only teams with ‘home’ coaches are England and France, with New Zealand coaches in charge of the rest of the home nations, and there are some who would prefer the Springboks to move with the times and bring in some different ideas.

There are some foreign coaches, like John Plumtree, John Mitchell and soon enough Eddie Jones, with experience of coaching in South Africa, but it is hard to see any one of them being handed the Springbok job.

The demands of the role means that it is not likely to be taken by someone that is not South African, but that does not mean ‘foreigners’ cannot play an important role in the team.

Meyer had the English John McFarland and Scottish breakdown specialist Richie Gray on his coaching team, but perhaps the Springboks could do with some more foreign influence in the assistant coaching roles.

Fresh ideas are always a good thing, and the Springboks could clearly do with some after scoring 1 try in 160 minutes of Rugby World Cup knock-out rugby, but those foreign coaches would probably be more effective if they didn’t have the spotlight constantly shone on them as head coach.

Dealing with the unique pressures of being the Springbok coach is a job that should be left to a South African, but that does not mean the team should go without foreign influence.



Could John Plumtree take over from Heyneke?

Weekend reports suggested Heyneke Meyer has already signed a new 4-year Springbok deal believed to be worth R 5 million a year.

However, this is not cast in stone and still needs to be approved by SARU’s General Council which will meet on 4 December.

Should Meyer fall on his sword after an indifferent Rugby World Cup campaign – or if SARU give him the boot – SA bookies Sportingbet suggest New Zealand’s John Plumtree is the favourite to take over.

Plumtree has been installed as the early favourite for the role – at evens – followed by his compatriot and former Lions coach John Mitchell (5/2).

Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett can be backed at 5/1, with ex-Stormers boss Allister Coetzee on offer at 8/1.

Current coach of the Currie Cup champion Golden Lions, Johan Ackermann, looks an attractive bet at 10/1, while Western Province Director of Rugby Gert Smal is at 16/1.

Another former Springbok coach, Jake White, is an outsider at 33/1, but not as much of a long-shot as former Wallaby wing David Campese (100/1).


39 Responses to Springboks: SARU says coach & management future decided on 4 December

  • 1

    Interesting that John Plumtree is mentioned as replacement!

    He certainly knows the SA pittfalls better than others, as well as SARU’s whims and the SA political landscape!

    I would do it slightly different though… I would keep Heyneke Meyer as Head Coach, but appoint John Plumtree as forwards coach, with a view of elevating him to Head coach at the end of 2017.

    That of course is IF he would at all be interested in coaching in SA again, after John Smit worked him out at the Cell C Sharks!

  • 2

    @ grootblousmile:
    Flashback to a few days ago…

    nortie on 27 October 2015 at 14:18 SAST
    Stop with the fixation that the coach MUST be appointed for the four year period between world cups. His whole focus is then only really on one tournament at the end of his tenure.

    I would suggest HM remains till 2017, that gives SARU 2 years to identify and appoint a coach from 2018-2021, also a two year cycle after the 2019 WC.

    Cheika proved that if you are a good enough coach you can take a side to the WC final even though you have only had 1 year as head coach.

    By appointing a coach for a period after the WC means that he should not feel obligated to only be judged on the WC at the end of his tenure.

    Your reply to the above suggestion was that I must think longer than my own nose, what has now changed?

    2 @ nortie:
    Is it a fixation or does logic determine that?

    Would you be willing to be appointed in a nice new lucrative job with only a 2-year contract, and unsure what the future would hold after those 2 years have expired? How lucrative would that new job have to be to negate only a short appointment?

    Or, would you want some job security for a number of years, so that you have a relatively secure working future?

    Which other coach, international of local would take a short term appointment, easily? How many of them would turn down the opportunity if the term was a short one?

    I agree with you that a year or 2 is enough… or should be enough to build a quality side… but is THAT the only consideration?

    Think longer than your own nose, Nortels!

  • 3

    2 @ nortie:
    Flashback to the same day, same article… where you said Heyneke has already had 4 years, so 2 more would make it 6.

    I still say a 4-year term for a NEW coach is the way to go, to give proper job security, but I agree with you that it should run from 2 years PRIOR to a Rugby World Cup till 2 years AFTER a Rugby World Cup.

    I also still stand on my viewpoint that a foreign coach should not be appointed as Head Coach… but I do not see John Plumtree as a foreign coach, after his long stint with the Sharks, him being married to a South African lady and all.

    I still stand by it that because the SA cupboards are bare, that Heyneke Meyer should continue for 2 more years… whilst a succession plan and alternatives are built and groomed and whilst SA Rugby get their Super Rugby Houses in order.

    So, what’s your point, if any??

  • 4

    @ grootblousmile:
    Oh, you know I never have a point, I’m just a dom oke that rambles.
    Maybe Meyer will be willing to only take a job for two years, who knows.

  • 5

    4 @ nortie:
    He WANTS the job, he wants to continue, he wants to turn things around…. he has had 4 years already.

    You do come accross as the dom oke who rambles now… but hey, continue!

    You want us to throw you a pity party or something?

    Tell me something very, very simple… do you think SARU has built a proper succession plan for Heyneke Meyer’s replacement?
    Is there a logical successor in place?
    Has our Super Rugby franchises performed up to par?

  • 6

    What has Plum achieved since leaving the Sharks? At least John Mitchell has coached the All Blacks.

  • 7

    @ grootblousmile:
    Question 1 and 2, yes, they reappointed HM. Whether the voting from the union’s mean he stays or not, the fact that they already made a contract with him means that he is their succession plan, and that did that a few months ago already.

    Whether he left himself a succession plan for the next 4 years should actually be the question.

    I doubt it because IMO he put all his eggs in his old player basket and didn’t blood enough younger players to continue from next year on. Time will tell though.

    SR has ups and downs, but it’s no use laying the blame in front of the franchise’s every time the Boks fail. Divvie was deemed as a shit coach and a fool and no one covered for him by blaming his failings on the SR.

    HM had one successful year in SR, winning in 2007, but he had many more miserable years as well.

    He is solely now judged on his 4 years as Bok coach. Some think he did well, others disagree.

    Some think he is the right guy to continue (including SARU) some don’t.

    Many of his players don’t play SR as he selects from outside SA as well, so SR form alone shouldn’t be the be all and end all of his shortcomings

  • 8

    Lion4ever wrote:

    What has Plum achieved since leaving the Sharks? At least John Mitchell has coached the All Blacks.

    Successful stint as Ireland’s forward coach and this year did well with the Hurricanes as assistant coach.

    One could argue that he has been busy coaching since he left the Sharks and has stayed current with the changes in the game

  • 9

    6 @ Lion4ever:
    Plumtree is Assistant Coach at the Hurricanes… and they play a very interesting and balanced type of game…. as all New Zealand sides do.

    I think Plumtree was ousted at the Sharks in a very dirty manner and I still rate him.

    On the other hand, I think John Mitchell has a few wayward and unstable personality traits and really struggles with successful man-management… he angers quickly and is a difficult bugger to deal with.

    He’s been known to just suspend a Press Conference if he does not like the questions posed to him.

    Let me put it this way, I am very bloody weary of his personality and there’s a reason why he was ousted at the All Blacks, the Force and the Lions!

  • 10

    HM can stay for the next four years if we can get new assistant coaches

    No more Ricardo Loubscher or McFarland

    Or the kuk De Viliiers scrum coach with his turbo reverse, your-head-in-your-own-assehole scrum technique

    We need an Aussie backline and attack coach like Todd Louden.
    I saw how he, in less than a season, transformed a Bulls backline who was even kukker than the Boks are now, into try scoring machines

    And an Argentinian scrum coach like the Wallabies have

  • 11

    grootblousmile wrote:

    Has our Super Rugby franchises performed up to par?

    We won both World Cups when our teams won the Super Rugby as well.

    Transvaal won the Super 10 and Bulls the S14 but more important the final was played by two SA teams which mean we had two teams of players better than the Kiwis and the Aussies, but more important the players knew it as well

    If our teams and players suck at Super Rugby level, no coach, except maybe Graham Henry, would be able to build a team capable of winning much

    The conference system makes our teams look better than they really are, and we sucked for the last few years

    I’m not excusing HM, he knew that if he played FdP he’s going to kick away all our possession

  • 12

    Between ’97/98 Mallett didn’t do too bad with the Boks.
    In ’97 the top 4 in SR was Blues, BrumbiesBoy, Hurricanes and Sharks.
    In ’98 the top 4 was Blues, Crusaders, Highlanders and Sharks

    In 2010 the Bulls and Stormers were in the top 4, the Boks came last in the Tri Nations.

    Meyer has now today blamed the fact that our players don’t have skills to compete with the other sides, others blame SARU, our SR teams, the list goes on.

    Never before has so many outside excuses been used to cover up for the failings of one coach.

    When NZ failed to win previous world cups never have any Kiwis blamed the NZRU for their failings, or when they failed to not win the RC or Tri Nations, their NZRU wasn’t blamed, neither was the SR.

    Laughing at Divvie making silly comments became a national sport on its own, currently it seems like listening to Meyer excuses has become a new sport on its own.

    I will admit he does come up with some nice excuses and can play the blame game very well, and the only thing that tops some of his doozies is the excuses his supporters come up with.

  • 13

    @ nortie:
    Good morning Nortie… you’re correct..Meyer is getting it easier than his predecessors…He should get the boot…But who takes over?…Four years ago Saru allowed him to surround himself with Neville nobodys in terms of test coaching experience and this is what Saru have reaped four years later…no succession plan…no wonder they offered Meyer 4 more years they had no other coach…it’s quite ridiculous…but to make the best of a bad situation I think Grootblousmile idea is one of the better ones..

  • 14

    12 @ nortie:
    Leave me out of this please


  • 15

    13 @ Te Rangatira:
    Hi TR
    SA rugby has never used the motion of appointing the assistant coaches as head coach as contingency plan.
    If that was the case Allister Coetzee or Gert Smal should have taken over from White, or, heaven help us, Gary Gold should have taken over from De Villiers.

    I know some people don’t like SARU, I’m not a huge fan either, but in Meyer’s case SARU can not be blamed IMO.

    They have backed him to the hilt, given him everything he asked for and have even shown willingness to give him 4 more years although he hasn’t delivered on any of his promises.

    They have allowed him to surround himself with yes men of his choosing, they have allowed him to select overseas based players, they have allowed him to coax retired players out of retirement, they have allowed him to select the bare minimum players of color and play them as few minutes as he wanted.

    Yet, they still kept and keep backing him, so they are not the problem and the reason for our failures.

    I see today Meyer is quoted, when asked about future captains, that Bissie, Flouw, Vermeulen and Strauss would make good captains. Already that indicates that 3 of the possible 4 he named is playing overseas, so that trend will continue of selecting overseas players.

    I can only surmise that we will be seeing 4 more years of the same old same old.

  • 16

    BrumbiesBoy wrote:

    12 @ nortie:
    Leave me out of this please

    Ha ha, sorry, predictive text

  • 17

    SARU’s succession saga:

    Old Mother Hubbard (read Hoskins)
    Went to the cupboard
    To get his poor dog a bone
    But when he came there
    The cupboard was bare……

    I’ll leave the rest up to you guys to fill in!


  • 18

    @ nortie:
    When you put it that way Nortie I can only agree with you… It is a bad situation when so many supporters of the Bok have no faith in their coach but there are few alternatives….Can Meyer deliver the change needed in playing style…i don’t think so…yet I don’t think an foreigner should be hired thus shrinking the pool of possible candidates….i don’t know…it’s a bit of a dilemma…

  • 19

    Here’s what doesn’t make sense to me regarding the December appointment.

    SARU is expected to appoint the new coach in December?
    So far, from them, we have only heard of one candidate, the incumbent.
    Should he not be reappointed for whatever reason, how can they appoint someone else when the post hasn’t been advertised or interviews held?
    Pre 2012 we have always heard that candidates were interviewed etc.
    Will this mean that should the current coach not be reappointed they will only start advertising the post and interviewing possibles from Dec onwards?

  • 20

    @ Te Rangatira:
    Here he has support, if you read Rugby365 you will get a perspective of what Bok supporters really think of him.

    On this site calling him a dumb coach with an outdated game plan is deemed as a personal attack

  • 21

    A simple solution would be for SARU to appoint competent new forward, backline/attack and a new scrum coaches

    And to stipulate only SA based players would play in the incoming June tours

    That would give local players the opportunity to prove themselves at home

    Use the overseas players for the Rugby Championship

    And for the EOYT you use a lot of overseas based players and youngsters and leave your SA based stalwarts at home to rest and recover

  • 22

    21 @ Victoriabok:
    I don’t know about SARU merely appointing assistant and specialist coaches. They will have to somehow and somewhere advertise these posts, or make it known that they are looking?
    If the deadline of appointment is December, then there is not too much time left to get someone to uproot and move to SA (should it be a foreigner)

    I like the idea of local players for the June tests, then at least we can be assured that SR form is the barometer for selection, but I can already predict that it will give HM yet another, albeit new excuse, when he flops in the RC by merely pointing out that he didn’t have enough time with his foreign based players and that he always used the June tests to gel the team. The fact that for the last 4 years that didn’t make a difference and we still couldn’t win the RC with him as coach will be forgotten

  • 23

    If I look at the support staff, I do not have a problem with the Conditioning coach, Bokke picked up the pace nicely after the half-bloody-fit Super Rugby players were given over to the Bokke… and after the loss to the Argies in Durban.

    The doctor, Craig Roberts, also did stellar work in getting a heap of sick, lame and half-broken returnees healthy.

    Defence was actually bloody good too, no real problems there.

    Breakdown work, Richie Gray did a good job.

    The real problem lies in the scrum coach, and the backline and attack coaches.

    And then of course we badly need some skills to improve…. but that has to somehow come from Super Rugby and the way the Super Rugby teams approach game plan and structure, to make skills second nature, nurtured over an extended period.

    So, I would at least let Ricardo Laubsher, Johan van Graan and Pieter de Villiers go and replace them… to start with!

    I see Heyneke Meyer’s extreme over loyalty as a real stumbling block in getting rid of Johan van Graan, Pieter de Villiers & Ricardo Laubsher… just like he could not get rid of Jean de Villiers when the hard decision had to be made, he’d better learn to make those hard decisions.

  • 24

    I wonder if they can’t ask Eddie to assist with the attack?

    He’s going to be here and could help at the training camps and in the June Test window

  • 25

    24 @ Victoriabok:
    Let’s see overall how he goes with the Sormers 1st…

    But there must be some SA Assistant coaches good enough, hard enough and strong-willed enough… here I can quickly think of the likes of Swys Joubert of the Lions, maybe Robert du Preez snr, Matthew Proudfoot (scrumming coach)…

  • 26

    How’s about getting Cheryl Calder back and involved with the Bokke, she did marvels with peripheral vision and skillsets last time she was envolved!!

  • 27

    We need an Aussie attack coach, they know how to turn it around fast

    We saw it at both the Bulls and the Boks

  • 28

    27 @ Victoriabok:
    Somehow I do not think Todd Louden will be available… he would of course be an ideal candidate, having worked with Heyneke so successfully before.

  • 29

    grootblousmile wrote:

    27 @ Victoriabok:
    Somehow I do not think Todd Louden will be available… he would of course be an ideal candidate, having worked with Heyneke so successfully before.

    Any Aussie backline coach

    Eddie doing it part time will still be better than Ricardo full time

    I think Todd doesn’t have a contract at the moment

    And he wouldn’t mind living in Cape Town, he didn’t like Pretoria

  • 30

    29 @ Victoriabok:
    Todd Louden is with the Melbourne Rebels, as attack coach, and last I heard he was as happy as a pig in shit with them!

  • 31

    grootblousmile wrote:

    27 @ Victoriabok:
    Somehow I do not think Todd Louden will be available… he would of course be an ideal candidate, having worked with Heyneke so successfully before.

    He is working for himself now

  • 32

    grootblousmile wrote:

    29 @ Victoriabok:
    Todd Louden is with the Melbourne Rebels, as attack coach, and last I heard he was as happy as a pig in shit with them!

  • 33

    32 @ Victoriabok:
    Genade… daar leer ek ook iets!

    I really did not know he’d left the Rebels!!

    Think THAT would even make it more difficult to get him back here in SA!

  • 34

    Gavin Rich also thinks he needs help

    He also remembered Louden

  • 35

    34 @ Victoriabok:
    Ek gaan nou slaap… nag Vicky!

  • 36

    I think it was after 2009 when the Abs were thumped by the Bok that the brains trust of the Abs decided that they switch roles….Hansen went to attack…Smith to defence and Henry took over the forwards….It worked out well as then the coaches were able to piece together the plan where they were able to integrate the knowledge they learnt in their previous roles into their new ones…birthing a total rugby approach

  • 37

    His second suggestion is a very good idea

    “2 – Appoint a strong non-coaching manager (like Ian Schwartz) into a more senior role to run the show operationally and let the mobi-unit headed up by Rassie Erasmus (with the likes of Chean Roux, Pieter de Villiers, Louis Koen and Jacques Nienaber as his lieutenants) actually coach the team. It’s not as far-fetched as it first might seem. Think Clive Woodward and his team of merry advisors, specialists and consultants.”

  • 38

    37 @ Victoriabok:
    I am not a big Rassie Erasmus fan… we tend to forget his lights and traffic show at the Cheetahs as well as the fact that he never achieved much at WP.

    Pieter de Villiers has not exactly delivered on our bokke scrum expectations, has he?

    Chean Roux… was’nt he also implicated in the Jurie Roux Maties scandal… no wait, THAT was Chris de Beer… sorry Chean!

    Louis Skoen… yeah, we do need a new Kicking Ccach… specially on the tactical kicking side!

    Jacques Nienaber was Defence Coach at WP and the Stormers… yeah definately, he would make a welcome addition! We’ll know the Bokke defence would ALWAYS be solid with him there!

    Ian Schwartz was the mastermind behind the Bulls contracting when they were so successful… I just do not know if he has a strong enough and abrasive enough personality to sort of become the Springboks Director Of Rugby and rule with an iron fist over his pals like Heyneke Meyer.

    What I think we need more than this type of change, is a new ATTACK Coach (for new urgency and potency on attack, which has been severely lacking), a new SCRUM Coach (Bokke were dismal in the 1st part of the International season in the scrums in 2015… they got better) and a new Forwards coach (so that they do not go interfere in the No 10 channel the whole time and do their principle functions). We need strong-willed individuals who will make their mark and not just be Heyneke’s silent yes-men.

    I do know I would want Matthew Proudfoot as Scrum Coach… that is for sure!
    I would also like Cheryl Calder involved with the Springboks again, on an ongoing basis!

  • 39

    grootblousmile wrote:

    I do know I would want Matthew Proudfoot as Scrum Coach… that is for sure!

    He certainly transformed the WP / Stormers “light five”.

    Also not sure who the Lions scrum coach is (evergreen Balie?), but they are anything but a massive unit, yet still have a brilliant scrumming technique that few sides manage to quell.

    Cheryl Calder is also basically a no brainer, but I think she may be capitalising on her past successes and may be financially a beu heavy for SARU?


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