Allister Coetzee hired to lead Top League’s Canon Eagles

Kyodo

Allister Coetzee will take over as head coach of Canon Eagles, the Japan Top League side announced Friday.

The 54-year-old South African ran Kobe Kobelco Steelers during the 2015-2016 season before taking over as head coach of the Springboks in early 2016. Coetzee was relieved of his Springbok duties in February after having gone 11-12 with two draws in 25 tests.

According to Jake White, a former Springbok boss who took over the Top League’s Toyota Verblitz, South Africa Rugby Union management’s failure to adequately support many of its national team coaches was a principle cause of Coetzee’s poor results.

“It’s impossible to compete in international rugby if you don’t have an even playing field,” White wrote a month ago in his column on alloutrugby.com. “If you’re playing against top test teams that have got carte blanche, but you don’t, then you’re not going to win. I don’t know why anyone would want to go coach in the international arena at a disadvantage — if someone starts 10 meters ahead of you in a 100-meter race, then chances are you won’t catch up.

“We’re still firing coaches when we give them spaghetti and they can’t make a hamburger.”