White – ‘Coetzee deserves credit for Bok improvement’

Former Springbok coach Jake White believes current coach Allister Coetzee deserves credit for their massive improvements so far in the 2017 season.

2016 was a nightmare season for the Boks as they won only four out of 12 Tests. 2017 has seen them turn things around emphatically, winning all five of their Tests. 

White wrote a column for the All Out Rugby website and explained his views on the situation.

“As the head coach in a country like ours, you’re really under the pump when you don’t do well, so when the team does perform, one has to give credit,” explained White.

“It’s one of the toughest jobs in the world of sport, some call it a poisoned chalice, so when you’ve got five wins from five Tests, it’s massive.”

White also believes the appointments of assistant coaches Brendan Venter and Franco Smith has made a big difference.

“Allister Coetzee copped a lot of flak when things were going downhill and, now that the team has turned around, he deserves the credit,” added White.

“Last year, when Allister said, ‘yes, but I didn’t have time’ and, ‘I didn’t have the staff I wanted,’ people said he was making excuses. This year, he’s got what he asked for, and he’s delivered.

“He’s selected local players, picked the Lions stalwarts, picked a local captain, and brought in the staff he wanted and, so far everything has been spot on. When you recover from the worst Bok season with five straight wins, scoring 30 to 40 points every time – they’re doing something right!”

The Springboks currently sit at the top of the Rugby Championship standings – ahead of New Zealand on points difference – and next face Australia in Perth on September 9.