New Bok coach a real bolter

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 11:33

HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE: Despite his somewhat comical denial this week, it is becoming obvious there is some truth to the suggestion that Allister Coetzee is about to walk the plank.

The impoverished and desultory performances of the Springboks in the last two years have finally caught up with Coetzee and Saturday's outing against Wales in Cardiff is set to be his last.

A book's worth of content has been written about why Coetzee should go - from his lack of creativity and poor selections, through to his unwillingness to accept change.

However, what has been a relative 'secret' up till now is that his replacement will come from a very unexpected source.

While most media grapevines have listed the South African Rugby Union's new (or returning) Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus as the most likely replacement, rugby365's sources have revealed Southern Kings Deon Davids has 'jumped the queue'.

The facts - or the grapevine if you wish - has it that Coetzee is on his way out.

It is certain that his confidant Brendan Venter won't be 'advising' the Boks next year.

The futures of Matt Proudfoot and Franco Smith remains uncertain, but they are also 'on thin ice'.

One of the 'new' assistants - for Davids - will also be returning to the Bok gold.

Former French prop Pieter de Villiers has been shortlisted as a new scrum expert. He was on Heyneke Meyer's panel between 2012 and 2015, but fell out of favour in the Coetzee era.

There is no doubt that Davids is rated highly by Erasmus - having coached South Africa Under-20 and was also appointed Kings coach during 'the Director of Rugby's previous stint at SARU headquarters.

It is believed that Coetzee will formally get his 'Don't come Monday' after SARU's December 13 General Council Meeting.

It is not sure when Davids' appointment will be announced.

Davids' stocks rose significantly in the past two years, in the wake of the remarkable improvement the Kings showed in the last two years.

Despite a very poor start in the Pro14 - after their player stocks were stripped bare - they have produced some encouraging performances in the last few rounds.

By Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com