JOHANNESBURG – Allister Coetzee made the big jump from coaching Top League side Kobe Kobelco Steelers to running South Africa on Tuesday, when the appointment was announced by the South African Rugby Union.
A former Springbok assistant, Coetzee coached Steelers to a fourth-place finish last season, his only one in charge of the storied club.
“This job comes with a huge amount of responsibility because our passionate fans rightfully demand the best from the Springboks at all times,” Coetzee told the South African Rugby website.
“Rugby ignites so much passion in our country. The team inspires all our people and every young rugby player in our country aspires to be a Springbok one day. I know full well that coaching the Springboks requires a lot of dedication, patience and hard work. I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity.”
He succeeds Heyneke Meyer, who was in charge of the Springboks last year at the World Cup in England, where South Africa overcame a shock opening loss to Japan to finish third. Coetzee’s contract will run through the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
“Allister’s appointment marks the changing of the guard at the top of Springbok rugby and is an exciting new departure for SA Rugby,” Oregan Hoskins, the president of South African Rugby, said.
“It is a watershed moment for our game with new players developing alongside a spine of experience and it was the right time to have a new man guiding the Springboks for the foreseeable future.
“Allister was the outstanding candidate in terms of his rugby credentials, his understanding of our unique South African transformation imperatives and also in the image he will present as Springbok coach. I am delighted to welcome him back into the Springbok fold.”
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