We were discussing an interesting topic yesterday which ultimately led to the inspiration behind this post. What happens if the Springboks lose to Italy on Saturday? Yes, this is (very) possible as we wrote in our SA vs Italy match preview, what happens if / when the Springboks winning ratio under the Allister Coetzee regime slips to 30%, or drops below that? At what point does the South African Rugby Union administrators call time and pull the plug on Allister Coetzee and his coaching regime? This is something which needs to be given some serious thought with Rugby World Cup 2019 coming ever closer, and the Boks showing zero signs of progress. While showing steady signs of regression.
Will SARU fire Coetzee?
We came to the conclusion that even if the Boks should lose to 14th rank Italy on Saturday, and the Springboks themselves eventually slip out of the World Top 10 rugby rankings, Coetzee will not be fired, at least not until after the Japanese World Cup, why? The reason for this is 2-fold.
Money Keeping Allister Coetzee Safe.
Firstly Coetzee is contracted until after the 2019 World Cup, which can perhaps explain his arrogant, carefree attitude when addressing SA supporters through the media. Coetzee can sleep safely at night knowing his job is safe as houses.
In the (highly) unlikely situation that Coetzee’s contract does get terminated before 2019, he can leave with a smile since SARU would have to pay him until 2019. SARU, is unlikely to spend more money on Coetzee, since they already had to spend a fortune to get him (Coetzee) out of his Japaneses contract before he was appointed as South Africa’s head coach.
What exactly is Allister Coetzee’s Salary?
Not only did SARU have to buy Coetzee out of his Japanese contract, but they had to make him a hefty offer — matching his Japanese salary. We are not sure what Coetzee’s exact salary is, but if you consider Heyneke Meyer was contracted at R10-million ZAR for 4-years, you can know for a fact Coetzee is certainly making a lot more than that. Remember this is a man who had to be lured out of retirement, so you can know for a fact there are plenty of 0’s next to the number on Coetzee’s contract, much like his current winning record! Thus, the money factor is something which keeps Coetzee safe.
The Complex Issue Of Race And Politics
While we hate to constantly bring up the race issue, one certainly needs to be very ignorant to say ethnicity does not play a role in Coetzee’s position. We have already written on how colour did play a role on the appointment of Coetzee & his coaching staff. However, we will go out on a limb, and say it is also playing a role in keeping Coetzee safe in his current position. Can you imagine the political outcry if Coetzee was replaced by a white / caucasian coach…?
What about the assistant coach?
We all know by now Mzwandile Stick was appointed, well before Allister Coetzee was appointed. We believe this was done by SARU, hoping that Coetzee can serve as a mentor to Stick, with Stick then inline to eventually take over from Coetzee, after 2019. Becoming South Africa’s first ever black coach, this will certainly be inline with SA Rugby’s 2019, 50-50 representation policy. Moral of the story? Not only can Coetzee sleep well at night but so can assistant coach Mzwandile Stick, who is largely responsible for the Springboks lack of offensive play.
Conclusion – Allister Coetzee & Mzwandile Stick here to stay.
So in short win or lose, Coetzee and his assistant coach is here to stay until 2019. If you think Coetzee is bad, just wait until you see Mzwandile Stick as Springbok head coach in 2019.