Former DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has been named as head coach of the Springboks for the next 4 years, ushering in an exciting new era for rugby in South Africa.
The 52-year-old former Springbok assistant coach succeeds Heyneke Meyer at a time when a number of veterans of the 2007 Rugby World Cup triumph have gone into retirement, including 3 of last year’s 4 captains.
“Allister’s appointment marks the changing of the guard at the top of Springbok rugby and is an exciting new departure for SA Rugby,” said Mr Oregan Hoskins, president of SA Rugby.
“It is a watershed moment for our game with new players developing alongside a spine of experience and it was the right time to have a new man guiding the Springboks for the foreseeable future.
“Allister was the outstanding candidate in terms of his rugby credentials, his understanding of our unique South African transformation imperatives and also in the image he will present as Springbok coach. I am delighted to welcome him back into the Springbok fold.
“The Springbok coaching job is an enormous challenge but Allister has the full support of us at SA Rugby and we will be united in our efforts to continue to make Springbok rugby strong. I want to wish him well in his new job, I also want to pay tribute to Heyneke and his management team for their dedication and service to Springbok rugby the past 4 years.”
Coetzee is arguably the most experienced man to be given the Springbok head coach’s job. He will draw on his personal involvement in 66 matches in the Springbok backroom in 2000 and between 2004 and 2007. He also has an exemplary record at Currie Cup and Vodacom Super Rugby record.
Coetzee said he was extremely honoured and humbled to coach the Springboks.
“This job comes with a huge amount of responsibility because our passionate fans rightfully demand the best from the Springboks at all times,” said Coetzee.
“Rugby ignites so much passion in our country. The team inspires all our people and every young rugby player in our country aspires to be a Springbok one day. I know full well that coaching the Springboks requires a lot of dedication, patience and hard work. I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity.”
SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, said that Coetzee had been recommended for the role by the SA Rugby High Performance Committee, whose recommendation had been accepted by the Executive Council and the General Council over recent weeks.
He said that Coetzee emerged as the best candidate for the role following a robust and thorough process. “Allister was the most outstanding candidate based on his excellent track record as a coach at provincial and Vodacom Super Rugby level, which makes his appointment a great one for SA Rugby,” said Roux.
“He proved himself on the domestic front by winning the Currie Cup twice with DHL Western Province and leading the DHL Stormers to 3 SA Conference titles in the extremely tough Vodacom Super Rugby competition. And we all know of his contributions as assistant coach to the Springboks, culminating in success at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
“We at SA Rugby are pleased with his appointment and we know we have the right person to lead us into the next and hopefully exciting phase of Springbok rugby. We’re also grateful to Kobe for allowing Allister to join us in South Africa.”
Coetzee had already been involved in a number of planning sessions with SA Rugby staff said Roux. His 1st official engagement as a coach will be the opening Test of the year against Ireland in Cape Town on Saturday 11 June 2016.
SA Rugby has also assembled a vastly experienced team management to assist the new Springbok head coach with the core duties in preparing the team for the next 4 years.
Former Springbok Sevens captain Mzwandile Stick will join Johann van Graan as assistant coaches, with Ian Schwartz carrying on as team manager.
Van Graan is retained in his role as assistant, while Stick joins the coaching staff after a stellar career playing with the Springbok Sevens, where he was the captain and also a member of the team that won the World Series title in the 2008 / 2009 season. Last year Stick coached Eastern Province to the Provincial Under 19 title.
The Springboks’ strength and conditioning will fall under Dr Warren Adams, while the medical team will consist of Dr Jerome Mampane and physiotherapists Vivian Verwant and Tanu Pillay.
The experienced Verwant, who has been part of the Springbok management since 2007, is retained in his position and he will be joined by Pillay, who has done duty with the Springbok Women’s and the Sevens Women’s teams for a number of years.
Adams and Mampane joins the Springboks after performing similar roles for the Junior Springboks the past 3 years.
3 Experienced members complete the backroom staff in JJ Fredericks (logistics), Rayaan Adriaanse (media) and Annelee Murray (PR), all of whom bring with them many years of experience in their respective fields at international level.
“These are people who are not only dedicated and passionate, but vastly experienced,” said Coetzee.
“Johann, Ian, Vivian, JJ, Rayaan and Annelee have all been involved with the Springboks before and bring with them a wealth of experience, while Warren, Jerome and Tanu have all worked with other national teams before.
“By involving experienced people, and combined with the stellar work done already by the Rugby Department in planning for the season, we’ll hit the ground running when we 1st assemble.”
SA Rugby also confirmed that Coetzee will be able to call on the assistance of consultants when the need arises during his tenure.
The Southern Kings’ Dr Conrad von Hagen, will fill in as team doctor during the June series against Ireland, while Mampane is with the Junior Springboks at the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Manchester. Mampane will join the Springboks in time for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.
Springbok Team Management:
- Head coach: Allister Coetzee
- Assistant coach (backline): Mzwandile Stick
- Assistant coach (forwards): Johann van Graan
- Team manager: Ian Schwartz
- Team doctor: Dr Jerome Mampane / Dr Conrad von Hagen (Southern Kings)
- Strength and Conditioning coach: Dr Warren Adams
- Physiotherapist: Vivian Verwant
- Physiotherapist: Tanu Pillay
- Logistics manager: JJ Fredericks
- Media manager: Rayaan Adriaanse
- PR manager: Annelee Murray