Rugby

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.”