Top players will quit South Africa if Rudolf Straeuli remains Springbok coach, said a leading agent on Tuesday.
"It is time for Straeuli to go. A number of leading players have indicated that they will not continue playing in South Africa beyond the end of next year if he remains coach," said World Artists agent Jason Smith.
Smith represents top local talent such as Victor Matfield, Werner Greeff, Danie Coetzee, Quinton Davids, Bolla Conradie, AJ Venter, Geo and Jacques Cronjé, Luke Watson, Fourie du Preez and Hendro Scholtz.
He also manages the careers of overseas-based South Africans Stuart Abbott, Clyde Rathbone, Michael Horak, Jake Boer and Ryan Strudwick.
"The first priority for South African Rugby is to appoint a world-class coach. My choice would be Nick Mallett. He is arguably the best South African coach," said Smith.
"Once a world-class coach has been appointed, South African Rugby needs to support him 100 percent. Appoint the coach for four years, but never without a performance clause.
"I read articles about the need for continuity. What rubbish. This is professional sport. Deliver or go. However, no coach can deliver if he does not enjoy full support. (England's) Clive Woodward has proved what can be achieved if a coach is supported 100 percent."
Smith said Mallett would lay the foundations for long-term success. "An intelligent coach like Mallett will want to put in place certain structures to produce results at international and Super 12 level. They must back his rugby brain," he said.
"There was talk of South African Rugby getting Alan Solomons in as a performance director. I think this would be an excellent idea. Solly is well respected, sensible and intelligent. Anyone who doubts this should look at his record here and abroad (Ulster are top of the Celtic League).
"Francois Pienaar is an excellent chief executive because he symbolises the re-birth of a great nation and has a super relationship with government leaders ... I also believe Cheeky Watson has a lot to offer South African Rugby. I am amazed that he is not on the board of directors."
Smith said Springbok contracts were administered in an amateurish way. Since professionalism was introduced, he had never even had a meeting with the chief executive of South African Rugby or the national coach.
"This is a disgrace. No one has ever called me and said 'OK, let's sit down and discuss the long-term plans of your clients'.
"As I speak to you now, two of my leading clients, Victor Matfield and Werner Greeff, are not contracted to South African Rugby," said Smith. "Their national contracts have expired and nobody is interested in discussing their future.
They could have opted for overseas clubs, but have thankfully decided to remain in South Africa for a while longer in the hope that things will improve."
Smith said Straeuli's discussions with Abbott, Rathbone, Boer and Warren Britz earlier this year were "unprofessional". "One of his opening lines is 'I don't talk to agents'."
Abbott, who represented England at the World Cup, initially wanted to play for South Africa. Rathbone moved to the Brumbies when talks with South African Rugby broke down, while Gloucester star Boer cancelled a holiday in Egypt for talks about being part of South Africa's World Cup set-up.
No substantial discussions materialised.
Britz slammed Straeuli after moving to English Premiership club Newcastle and was joined in his condemnation by Sharks prop Ollie le Roux.
Western Province tighthead prop Cobus Visagie recently also said there was a "complete lack of a plan" in the World Cup match against England. Players who wanted to address this were worked out.
Robbie Fleck had a fall-out with Straeuli and AJ Venter was overlooked after expressing his opinions about the Springbok structure in a one-on-one with the coach.
Several Springboks also felt humiliated by Kamp Staaldraad and one has sought legal advice over alleged human-rights violations.
The majority are furious about TV footage of them in the nude.
Smith, meanwhile, warned of a potential revolt by the country's top 180 players. "If smaller provinces continue to threaten the development of a top six, then our leading players are going to get fed up and I envisage a player revolt in the form of a strike," he said.
"It would take only some financial backing to underwrite the top 180 players' employment contracts, and somebody is going to be in a very strong position in terms of controlling South African Rugby.
"Make no mistake, the players will always hold the power at the end of the day. They did in 1995, the beginning of professionalism, and they still do."