CAPE TOWN - South Africa’s four-year reign as world champions will have as much to do with how the Springboks keep their house in order as it does with who is appointed All Black coach.
The Kiwis always promoted the virtues of Heyneke Meyer and Allister Coetzee as Bok coaches. Why? Because the Boks only fashioned one dramatic last-minute victory against the All Blacks during the duo’s respective tenures.
Rassie Erasmus had the All Blacks on high alert the moment he was appointed and in the last two seasons he won once in New Zealand, drew in New Zealand, lost in South Africa and lost at the World Cup in the opening match. The great rivalry between the two nations was restored in the last two seasons.
The two countries will meet for a 100th time in 2020 and if Crusaders coach Scott Robertson is the man in charge, then South Africa be nervous. Not so current assistant coach Ian Foster.
The All Blacks, in appointing Steve Hansen for two four-year spells following Graham Henry’s departure, put an emphasis on continuity from within the ranks. Henry won the 2011 World Cup with Hansen as his deputy, with Hansen going on to win the 2015 World Cup as head coach and end third at the 2019 tournament. Many, myself included, felt Hansen’s time in charge was two years too long.