Outspoken former Springbok coach Jake White has come to the defence of Allister Coetzee.
In his column on AllOutRugby, 2007’s World Cup-winning mentor believes the recently ousted Coetzee – who was one of White’s assistants during his tenure – “got the raw end of the deal”.
He also notes that the South African Rugby Union (Saru) continues to expect national coaches to “make a hamburger when they’re given spaghetti”.
“The Bok coach will never be successful when the boardroom plays the guitar and he’s expected to dance, and that all started when Allister got the job via a text message without any interview process,” White wrote.
“It’s impossible to compete in international rugby if you don’t have an even playing field. If you’re playing against top Test teams that have got carte blanche, but you don’t, then you’re not going to win.”
Coetzee and the South African Rugby Union (Saru) agreed to a R1.8 million severance package last Friday following a week of drama after an explosive letter listing the 54-year-old’s grievances was leaked.
He only had a 44% win percentage as national coach.
White though isn’t oblivious to criticism that Coetzee should’ve made sterner demands about his resources after he was approached for the Springbok job.
At least two of his assistants were forced on him when he was appointed in April 2016.
“Allister should have raised his objections when he got the Springbok job – his claims would have had much more credibility if he’d voiced them at the beginning of his term instead of at the end,” White continued.
“I think that his love for the Boks and his desire to coach the national team probably clouded his reaction to the parameters he’d have to work in and, instead of saying it can’t be done, he overlooked the impact of those restrictions.”
White also criticised Saru for not launching full-blown recruitment processes for coaches and actually subjecting them to an interview process.
He is hopeful though that Rassie Erasmus, Saru’s director of rugby, will be far more hard-nosed about which support staff he wants, especially if agrees to coach the Boks on a temporary basis.
“I’ve got no doubt that Rassie Erasmus would, rightly, not have agreed to come back from Ireland for anything less than that,” White wrote.