Home Columnists Expert Opinion Sack Bok coaches, players – Fitzpatrick

Sack Bok coaches, players – Fitzpatrick


Former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick says the Springboks need an overhaul to recover from the worst season in team history.

“They will have to change because they may not have the best coaches and the best players at the moment,” Fitzpatrick told Netwerk24 at a Laureus sports foundation event in Kraaifontein. “You need to get the right coaches and players in place.”

The current coaches and players combined for a 4-8 record in 2016, including historic losses against Ireland, Argentina, New Zealand, Wales and Italy, as the Boks dipped to a team-low sixth place on the World Rugby rankings.

Former Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll was also in attendance at the event.

“Those kind of things are said when a team like the Springboks lose a few games in a row,” O’Driscoll said when asked whether the Boks have lost their aura.

“I don’t think the team’s current condition is terminal; this weak cycle won’t be the end of Springbok Rugby. They’ll be back.”

Ireland legend Brian O’Driscoll has no doubt that the Springboks will salvage some respect in 2017.

“Though they were in a bad state in 2016, I believe the Springboks will do much better in Allister Coetzee’s second season,” the former Ireland skipper told Netwerk24.

“Sometimes you have to hit the bottom to realize what needs to be done to get back to the level where you were before. There are plenty of quality players in the squad to make them a force in world rugby again.

Rock bottom is what the Boks hit last year. The worst season in team history began with South Africa’s first home loss against Ireland, who played much of the match with 14 men, and finished with milestone defeats against Argentina, New Zealand, Wales and Italy.

“Last season was their most disappointing in a long time, but I’ve got no doubt that they can turn it around, as long as everyone works together,” added O’Driscoll.

It remains to be seen whether ‘everyone’ includes Coetzee. The coach’s future is under a cloud of uncertainty as it remains to be seen whether stakeholders will fund a move to pay for Coetzee’s early exit.

The Boks kick off their season with a three-Test series against touring France in June and, given that Les Bleus finished fifth in last year’s Six Nations, there is reason to expect South Africa will win at least five games in 2017.

“The team’s problems are not terminal,” O’Driscoll said. “The team is going through a difficult time, but it is certainly not the end of Springbok Rugby.”

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  1. Listen to BOD’s get-along bore-a-quotes.
    Like a true Irishman – he knows who is paying the drinks tab.
    Can SARU do any worse? Leaving KK Coetzee to dangle in the storm is cruel & unusual punishment.
    Ex FIFA-Freak Sepp Blatter would actually be an improvement for SARU vs the the current ding-a-ling.

  2. Fuck em.
    I won’t spend a cent or watch another game.
    Within another year,
    they will be jobless.

  3. “Though they were in a bad state in 2016, I believe the Springboks will do much better in Allister Coetzee’s second season,”

    I don’t have the will or the energy to sit through another Allister season full of flops and clueless play only to hear Toetie blaming his players after every game.

  4. No, now Coetzee wants to make changes and pick younger players to rebuild. It’s too late.

    But that’s not even it. The problem is that he’s whole approach us conservative and reactive. It is exactly the opposite of what he Boks need. We need fresh ideas.

    Maak skoon. Skop almal uit.

  5. @cab:
    Agreed Cab…
    But David Bowie has unfortunately passed & TRUMP can’t as he’s just an alchemical equation/demonstration showing us how we too can turn water into wine in our own lives.
    So what to do?
    Change the game plan.
    Insist on intensely negative rugby NEVER playing outside the opponents 10m & endeavor to win on penalty kicks & counter attacks off turnovers. Get that Niebar guy back to allow for this defensive platform that can make the above work.
    This should slow the test loss bleeding long enough for SARU to grow the cojones to clip KK after year 2.

  6. @Americano:

    Nienaber and rassie I be very happy with but what we really need is some attacking instinct and proactive spirit. Where is the Great One? We need to start slapping the ABs silly again.

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