CAPE TOWN – Springbok consultant Brendan Venter says Allister Coetzee is a “good man and a good coach”, and that the team had improved last year.
Coetzee left his post as Bok boss on Friday after SA Rugby announced that the two parties had “reached an agreement to part ways with immediate effect”.
The decision to let Coetzee comes after the Boks won just 11 Tests out of 25 over the last two years.
The Rugby Department of SA Rugby, headed by director Rassie Erasmus, will take charge of the Bok coach responsibilities until the management team is confirmed at the end of February, with Erasmus widely expected to call the shots going forward.
Venter, who has worked with Coetzee during his Bok tenure, took to Twitter to warn that whoever replaces his good friend need to take cognisance of “obstacles” that Coetzee pointed out in his letter to SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux.
“Good thing SA rugby and Allister could come to an agreement which both parties are happy with,” Venter tweeted on Friday.
“Contrary to popular belief the Boks showed great improvement last year. Won 7. Drew 2. Lost 2 by a point and lost 2 matches badly. This young Bok side was outplayed on only 2 out of 13 matches. With a bit of luck they could have won 11 out of 13.
“The point I am trying to make is that this group has real potential. Last year was not wasted. They learnt a lot and if new coaches back this group they could become world beaters.
“If the new coaching staff builds on what was good. Changes what did not work this group has the talent to improve on those results by winning those 4 close games, and if they lose 2 matches out of 13, make sure they are competitive in those matches.
“Reality is. There will be obstacles in their path as Allister pointed out. If they don’t heed that advice there will be lots of tears and finger pointing next year this time.”
The former Bok midfielder, who played in 17 Tests between 1994 and 1999, said that the new team management should also engage Coetzee.
“My final plea. All parties. Put your pride away. Sit around the table like sensible rugby men and talk rugby. Ask Allister what he would have done differently. Learn from it. He is a good man and a good coach. All everybody wants is the Boks to be dominant again. Good luck.”