Sport Staff
2 minute read
25 Jan 2017
12:11 pm

Nick Mallett: Only luck should save Bok coach Allister Coetzee

Sport Staff

The outspoken former national coach believes keeping his embattled compatriot would only be 'making the best of a bad job'.

Nick Mallett. Photo: Grant Pitcher / Gallo Images.

Without really commented on his suitability for the job, Nick Mallett believes Allister Coetzee will be lucky to keep his job as Springbok coach.

Under Coetzee, the national team lost a whopping eight of their 12 Tests in 2016, piling the pressure on the 53-year-old.

Also read: Just when rugby needs wise heads, Boks miss out on Brendan Venter

The South African Rugby Union (Saru) are currently discussing his future and are expected to make a final decision at the end of the month.

“I’ve never seen such a poor South African side go on tour to Europe (than the one last year). They were absolutely abject,” Mallett is quoted as saying by Planet Rugby.

“There was no leadership. The players obviously didn’t listen or respect what the coaching staff were trying to say, because there was no passion and intensity in their play.”

Rumours are already swirling that Saru is trying to persuade its former director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus, to come back to South Africa after he resigned last year to take up a position at Irish club Munster.

“The coaching we saw from that group and performances from the players (was suspect). Many Springbok coaches have lost their jobs with better results than that,” said Mallett, a former Springbok coach with a 71% win percentage.

“He will be fortunate to keep his job.”

That said, Mallett also tried to provide some perspective, again highlighting how difficult it could be for Saru to get rid of Coetzee.

“The financial aspects cannot be sneezed at. He did not have a performance clause in the first year of his contract. That only kicks in during the second year as I far as I understand,” he said.

“They would have to pay out R13 million to get rid of him. That’s a lot of money from a South African perspective. For a guy to have won only 33 percent of his matches, he earned R4 million in the first year. Then you have to pay another R13 million to get rid of him. That leaves a bad taste in the mouth doesn’t it?”

In the absence of viable candidates to replace Coetzee, Saru are more likely to allow him to choose his own lieutenants.

The governing body controversially forced certain support staff on the Bok mentor.

“I think they will give him the chance to pick his assistants. That means there are no excuses, given that Saru have admitted that appointing some of his coaches for him was a little bit unfair on Coetzee,” said Mallett.

“But I feel that is trying to make the best of a bad job.”

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