Allister Coetzee was unveiled as the Springbok’s new coach yesterday giving him a mandate to rebuild the national side before the 2019 World Cup in Japan and meet South Africa’s rules on racial inclusion.
Coetzee has his work cut out over the next four years after the retirement of stalwarts Victor Matfield, Jean de Villiers, and Fourie du Preez following a bronze medal win at the World Cup in England in October.
That team was only just over a quarter non-white players and South Africa’s transformation goals mean he will have to raise that to at least half players of colour.
“Transformation is not an issue for me. As national coach you have to understand our unique situation in South Africa. I firmly believe that uniqueness can make us stronger.”
His opening assignment will be three home tests against Ireland in June.
And Coetzee vowed his side will be ready. “They’re a settled team. They have a very good coach in Joe Schmidt and they’ll be joined by the former England defence coach Mr Farrell, so they’ll be formidable.
“We do respect them. It’s really a tough, passionate Irish side that will come out to South Africa this year but I can guarantee you that we’ll be ready.”
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