Morné du Plessis (back, third from right) poses with some of the Laureus Academy members and ambassadors at a Sport For Good event in Monaco on Monday. Photo: @LaureusSport via Twitter

MONACO – Former Springbok captain and World Cup-winning manager Morné du Plessis says chopping and changing Springbok coaches is not the solution to the woes that have engulfed South African rugby.

The 68-year-old Du Plessis doesn’t believe that a new Bok coach to replace Allister Coetzee will change the fate of the national team, Super Rugby and domestically.

At the peak of his powers as captain of the Springboks, Du Plessis enjoyed a 68% win record, having won 13 of the 15 Tests they played between 1975 and 1980.

Du Plessis feels Saru should lure back many South African players plying their trade in Europe, especially former internationals whom will help elevate the standard of the game back home.

“One of the major issues being the attractions of our players into Europe, it is just a fact of life. We tend to try to find a simple answer in a coach, but there are a lot of factors that we are challenged with, and one of them is the financial issue.

“If we had every one of those players in South Africa, like Bismarck du Plessis, who might not get into the team (Springboks), but they raise the standard of competition domestically.

“I believe we are faced with some challenges that aren’t going to be solved by a great coach,” said Du Plessis in Monaco on Monday while attending the Laureus World Sports Awards.

With Saru director of rugby Rassie Erasmus widely speculated to take over as interim Springbok coach until next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, Du Plessis is hopeful that the appointment of Erasmus could help alleviate the woes of the past two years.

“A great coach can do wonders, and I’m sure there are plans,” Du Plessis said.

The former No 8 is hopeful that the Springboks, who are ranked sixth in the world, will be competitive again and join the likes of the All Blacks and England at rugby’s top table.

“We will always be competitive, I don’t give up hope. We will be competitive, we do the dips maybe a bit too often these days, but we are going be competitive.”


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