Allister Coetzee’s leaked letter to the South African Rugby Union (Saru) makes for pretty spectacular reading.
The now former Springbok coach certainly also gives us more confirmation on how haphazardly Saru have run things over the past few years.
The fact that he tried to actually base his defence on alleged lax labour law practice – when there are more than enough rugby reasons to fire him – says everything that needs to be said.
Nonetheless, if there’s one thing that still hasn’t been discussed enough, it’s how “Toetie” takes absolutely no responsibility himself for the Boks’ mediocre results over the past two years.
Nowhere in that document is there any mention of that.
Personally, I found this letter shattered my view on him.
He remains a decent, friendly human being.
He’s willing to elaborate on his plans – regardless how one feels about them – and doesn’t clam up too much when the pressure is on.
But his lack of accountability is, frankly, scary.
Without going into too much detail, Coetzee listed 24 differences between him and predecessor Heyneke Meyer in table form.
It varies from support staff to logistics.
However, all you need to know really is that Coetzee believes he took the job but was set up to fail because he had no input in his support staff and that Saru used a lack of funds to starve him of other resources.
That’s not cool in any book.
But he seems to forget something: he could’ve negotiated or plainly just said “no” before this appointment.
Saru were desperate.
They had no coach and no headline sponsor.
Coetzee had employment in Japan.
He was holding the aces and should’ve been more diligent.
Since he didn’t raise a stink over Saru employees like (the very competent) Johann van Graan means he either wanted to preserve peace of was just plain naïve.
Furthermore, there’s no mention of his inability to cultivate a clear playing identity for the Boks.
Or the perception that he picked all the wrong non-white players despite his transformation mandate.
You need to be a hard arse if you want to coach the Boks.
For example, Jake White lobbied with Sasol – then Bok sponsors – for a separate R4 million warchest for the 2007 World Cup to hire Eddie Jones when Saru weren’t willing to pay.
That’s what it takes.
Coetzee doesn’t seem to be that type of man.