The good news for the Springboks is that they will have the technical expertise of the highly experienced forwards coach Johann van Graan for Saturday’s Test against Ireland, and for next week’s encounter with France.
But Paris will mark Van Graan’s swansong with the Boks.
Thereafter it is back to Ireland for the last survivor of the coaching staff that served Heyneke Meyer.
Van Graan is taking up the position of head coach at Munster, replacing outgoing Rassie Erasmus (who will become the SA Rugby director of rugby), and will thus miss the Boks’ tour matches against Italy and Wales.
Coetzee applauded Van Graan’s contribution to the Springboks since he took up his position in 2012.
“Johann has made a massive contribution to the Springboks over the last few years. Besides his excellent technical and coaching abilities, he is also a very good person,” Coetzee said from Dublin.
“He will be a big loss for the Springboks and is a massive gain for Munster. He has been an outstanding assistant coach for us, and his knowledge of the game is second to none. Johann is an unbelievable hard worker and is technically very astute,” said Coetzee.