An open letter to Nick Mallet

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Hi Nick,

Open letters are woven into the South African fabric and as such – I thought I’d write this one to you.

The South African rugby scene is in turmoil.

While the Lions shot the lights out in this year’s Super Rugby – if it wasn’t for the favourable conference system – they would’ve led a lone charge for Super Rugby glory. The Stormers and the Sharks just made up the numbers and even though they played well in patches – they never really looked competitive. You know this.

Then, in a post world cup year – we appointed a new coach and along with that a new captain and a string of new players – and so far, we are teetering on a 44% win ratio. Not good enough for one of the most iconic brands in sport. England, Wales and Italy lie in wait for the wounded Springbok and realistically – we’d do well to win two of those three matches.

You see Nick, from where I sit at least, the Springboks lack structure, incision and a conditioning. Mostly, they lack a strategy. Sure, that is only the tip of the iceberg I mean the issues in SA rugby would challenge any coach; things like a decentralised contracting system for example, leads provinces to put their brand before that of the Springbok and then there is rife political influence in the game too which makes it tough for a coach to do what he does best. The list is endless really but I can’t help but feel that if there was anyone who could make an impact, it’s you.

I’d hazard a guess that post match viewership has quadrupled since you’ve been included in the SuperSport studio and that is for one simple reason; you are one of the top rugby brains available in South Africa and anyone can see it. You have a God given talent for understanding what it takes to win rugby matches and to match that, you have an exceptional coaching resume stacked full of results, that proof your worth. When you talk rugby, people listen and this is a trait we can ill afford to ignore for any longer.

I am not suggesting that you should become coach – that’s not where you are needed and you have made it clear that you don’t have the appetite to have another bite at the cherry – but what would you say to something bigger? Something like a Director of Rugby. Is this something you would consider? Even Rassie Erasmus’ now vacant role might be a good fit for you?

I think the long and short of it is that while we all absolutely love your insight in a suit on our TV’s every Saturday – we’d much rather see you in a Springbok blazer pitch side when the Springboks take on the All Blacks. Considering the current state of affairs – we need you now, more than ever.

What do you say?

Kind regards,
Juan

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