Springboks: Big picture hope?

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While I have never been an Allister Coetzee fan and think it’s time for him to go – there is a bigger picture at play here and this might bring our hurting nation a semblance of hope.

I have written numerous posts about the tactical incompetence of Allister Coetzee and how, while he might’ve been the logical choice for the Bok coaching role, he wasn’t the best choice. Sure, he’s a good player manager but we really need a strategist, not a school teacher.

But when he was appointed, I knew that he was destined to oversee an unfortunate transitional period that was inevitable for the powerhouse South African brand. The transition to rock bottom.

And this gave me hope.

The Springboks have been teetering for a couple of seasons – ever since Jake White called it a day. White built a strong team, a winning formula and a strong leadership group and after guiding us to the 2007 RWC trophy – the majority of the squad remained largely in tact and that more than likely contributed to the Springboks besting the All Blacks regularly during the 2009 season and beating the British Lions. Then came Meyer and while he maintained a respectable record – he will always be remembered as the Bok coach that lost to Japan. If you were to put the performance of the Springboks over the last 10 years on a line graph – things would be nosediving.

So how could this possibly give me hope?

Because the Springboks and SA Rugby need to know what rock bottom feels like in order for them to reevaluate what is really important.

In my opinion, we need to lose games, lose sponsors, lose spectators and lose players for the administration to realise that have nothing left and need to make changes.

We can see the issues but for some reason – the people in charge can’t.

Central contracting is just one such example. How can we ever expect to change the way the Springbok brand of rugby is played – if the Lions, Stormers, Sharks, Bulls, Cheetahs, and Kings play differently? We need one contract to rule them all.

Another thing we need is less political meddling in the game. While it has never been my position to weigh in on this topic; the fact that coaches’ assistants, players and back room staff are chosen for the coach and not by the coach is a recipe for disaster.

Lastly, we need to invest in the next generation of coaching minds. While Johan Ackermann is next in line, who is after in? Precious few coaches have stuck up their hands. We need to do something about that.

Not sure if this gives you hope, but it does me.

I like to live in the hope that South African rugby is something we can be be proud of and when the time comes – that we do more to preserve it.

What’s your thoughts? How are you feeling right now? As always, we’d love to share in your misery so if you have something to say – hit us with tweet @leftbacks or a comment below.

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