With the Springboks out of the 2011 Rugby World Cup and Peter de Villiers' coaching contract coming to an end at the end of December 2011 who will be the next Springbok coach? This question is on every South African's lips. And probably most rugby fans over the world.
First I would like to remind you all of some of Peter de Villiers' recent quotes and we will miss. For me it will mean less laughter and I will surely miss it.
"A game is two halves. The first is 40 minutes and the second is 40 minutes. So we have 60 minutes to prove ourselves."
"You can't wear your dancing shoes to church."
"We only lost on the scoreboard. We won on the field"
These are just some of Peter's many foot in the mouth moments. And for this I for one will miss the old "Snorre". But let's look at his possible successors and who might replace him.
The names of coaches like Jake White and Nick Mallet has done the rounds has have Heyneke Meyer. All of them have ruled themselves out in the media due to other offers or commitments. Any one of these 3 would have been a good choice. That brings us to the names going around in the media and sporting circles.
We will look at them all separately but here are the names; Allister Coetzee, Rassie Erasmus & Brendan Venter.
Allister Coetzee is the current WP and Stormers coach. He has had relative success with them taking them to this year's Super Rugby and Currie Cup semi-finals. The only South African team to do this. They have also contested the last two Currie Cup finals as well as last year's Super Rugby final. Over all Coetzee has reached the goals that have been set for the team five years ago. The only goal he still has to reach is winning a title. Coetzee in my view will be the best choice for the job. What will hamper or help him the most is who he selects to be his coaching staff. This was Peter de Villiers' biggest draw back. He had assistants that had no or very little experience at high level.
Rassie Erasmus has proven himself over and over again when it comes to provincial coaching. He took the Cheetahs to their first Currie Cup title in 30 years and then defended the title. He has had success as director of coaching at WP helping Coetzee to the current successes. He is not just an office director but keeps his hands in the actual coaching. The fact that he has been involved with the current Bok team at the world cup will count in his favour. For me Erasmus will be well suited as a analytical coach and assistant to Coetzee. They know each other well and work good together.
Brendan Venter showed what he is worth with Sarecens. He took them various successes during his time as coach and director of coaching at the English club. He has his own way of doing things and still thinks like a player. He relates to the players and this is a very big factor when coaching. His only draw back is that he is very controversial at times and doesn't always think before he speaks. if he can take a step back and join guys like Coetzee and Erasmus it will be a formidable coaching team.
These three guys should form the basis of the Springbok coaching team in what ever order or form SARU decides on. Keep Nienaber as defensive coach and add Alan Solomons to work with the back line. If at all possible get Gert Smal back in the mix as forwards coach as he is probably the best in this field. With the current crop of Springboks that are left and the young emerging players under guidance of a coaching team like this, the Springboks can take the nr 1 spot in the world and keep it.
One thing to keep in mind. Peter de Villiers might just be offered a new contract, but then again he might not.
But like always this is just my view..... Let me know yours.