Alistair Coetzee says he doesn’t know where the rumours started about him being fired as Springbok coach. Photo: BackpagePix

While rumours persist about the future of Springbok coach Allister Coetzee, the man in the eye of the storm is not looking beyond Saturday’s clash against Wales.

Coetzee has laughed off rumours that he is already in talks with Japanese outfit the Canon Eagles, and instead said he would be going to Japan “in 2019” to the World Cup as Bok coach.

“I’m definitely going in 2019,” Coetzee laughed.

“I honestly don’t know where the rumours start, and I would like to know the source. It is just unfortunate.”

And while Coetzee feels the guillotine hanging over his head, he insists on fielding his “strongest side” against Wales at the Millennium Stadium (4.30pm kickoff).

What Coetzee sees as his strongest team could further infuriate die-hard Bok supporters who have been calling for change within the playing personnel to get the team to play the kind of running rugby they want to see.

Although he faces some tough decisions about his loose forwards, Coetzee gave little away in terms of possible changes to his team.

“I will select my best available team against a quality Welsh outfit,” Coetzee said from Cardiff yesterday.

“We must make sure that we select a team that will fit to our plan and against the opposition that we are playing. So the best possible team will be selected.”

The Boks may have brought some light into a end-of-year tour after consecutive wins against France and Italy after starting off with a record defeat against Ireland, but they will be up against a formidable Wales outfit which will be seeking retribution from their defeat against the All Blacks, after threatening to pull the carpet from under the feet of the world champions.

As much as the Boks showed some improvements against an average Italian outfit last Saturday, the truth of the matter is that they will have to be far better in all departments if they are to beat Wales at home for the first time in four years.

“We will be playing against a very good Welsh team, with a fantastic coaching staff and experienced international players. We know we have to be at our best again this weekend to keep on with the improvement in our game,” Coetzee concluded.


The Mercury