It’s not easy being Springbok coach, but it does pay pretty well.
Earlier this week we learnt that Allister Coetzee is netting R1,8 million from SA Rugby due to being sacked, which is a six-month severance package.
That means Coetzee was earning R3,6 million a year, or R9 million during his entire Bok coaching tenure. Just the R360 000 per test match, or a casual R820 000 for every victory he delivered.
Of course you come under intense pressure from every armchair expert in the country, and Jake White is well aware of that.
Winning the 2007 World Cup always helps to get folks off your back, but Jake has plenty of sympathy for Toetie. Penning a column for All Out Rugby, here’s some of what he had to say:
We’ve been professional since 1996 and world champions twice, but we’re still firing coaches when we give them spaghetti and they can’t make a hamburger.
Allister Coetzee 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. Having said that, I do believe he got the raw end of the deal.
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.
Spaghetti and hamburgers is a little out of left field, but are we supposed to be sympathetic to the fact that he was handed the job on a silver platter?
If SA Rugby had gone through the process of explaining what they wanted and Allister had reverted with what he was planning, perhaps he wouldn’t have taken the job, or they would have compromised on what they were prepared to offer him.
Something that comes with experience in coaching is taking a job where you know you can make the needed changes, and where you have the final say on how you’re going to put it all together. Allister accepted a job where he was going to get judged on a framework that everyone else gave him.
I’m tired of saying I’m disillusioned with SA rugby, but if I look at Allister and the response to his exit, the reality is that all the same problems are still there.
He does have a point there, because every Springbok coach tends to leave under acrimonious circumstances. That means that the second they walk out of the door, all of their expertise is lost to the national set-up.
Jake’s harshest words are reserved for those running SA Rugby:
You’ve got to believe that the sooner we can have rugby people around SA Rugby’s decision-making table who are going to be there for a while, the better. But some of the stalwarts at SA Rugby have been in the system for a long time and we’re still not getting anywhere. And there’s no accountability; they just carry on.
They come to a meeting to announce the new coach every couple of years and they continue in their jobs. The only things that change are the team photos, not the results.
It’s funny how everyone has just moved on after the announcement that Allister will be replaced when the root problems haven’t been dealt with.
In a month’s time we’ll hear that they couldn’t find a coach, and Rassie will take over. You have to say that does smell a bit fishy – perhaps Allister didn’t get all the help he could have because there was always a Plan B waiting in the wings.
And the Boks will improve under Rassie, because the rules will be different. So why do the people who made those decisions never have to answer for them?
The root problem remains, but I find it naive to think that Allister shouldn’t be held largely responsible for the worst coaching tenure in Springbok history.
How many times have you heard the words ‘record defeat’ since April 2016, when Toetie took over? Too many.
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