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Could the Boks look abroad?

SARU are yet to announce anything officially about the position, and there has been wide speculation that Meyer re-signed before the World Cup in a lucrative deal.

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But everyone will have to wait until December when SARU have their general council meeting and officially appoint the next coach, which gives us a further month of rumours flying around.

If the position is still open then which options would SARU consider? There are many people that believe the Springboks need a foreign coach to shake their game up, but is that really possible?

Whoever is appointed Springbok coach in December will have to aim for the targets set by SARU in their Strategic Transformation Plan which Meyer has committed to.

That means that at the next World Cup in Japan half of the team will have to be players of colour, irrespective of who the coach is.

Those are pressures that do not exist in any other international coaching job, which naturally adds another dimension to the task and raises the question of whether the Springbok coach needs to be South African.

In Europe the only teams with 'home' coaches are England and France, with New Zealand coaches in charge of the rest of the home nations, and there are some who would prefer the Springboks to move with the times and bring in some different ideas.

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There are some foreign coaches, like John Plumtree, John Mitchell and soon enough Eddie Jones, with experience of coaching in South Africa, but it is hard to see any one of them being handed the Springbok job.

The demands of the role means that it is not likely to be taken by someone that is not South African, but that does not mean 'foreigners' cannot play an important role in the team.

Meyer had the English John McFarland and Scottish breakdown specialist Richie Gray on his coaching team, but perhaps the Springboks could do with some more foreign influence in the assistant coaching roles.

Fresh ideas are always a good thing, and the Springboks could clearly do with some after scoring one try in 160 minutes of World Cup knock-out rugby, but those foreign coaches would probably be more effective if they didn't have the spotlight constantly shone on them as head coach.

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Dealing with the unique pressures of being the Springbok coach is a job that should be left to a South African, but that does not mean the team should go without foreign influence.

By Michael de Vries

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