Coetzee: ‘Springboks won’t lose their aura’

Date published: November 1 2016

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31:  Springbok Coach Allister Coetzee looks on during a South Africa training session at the Lensbury Hotel on October 31, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has credited Eddie Jones with putting the “bite” back into England but insists South Africa will never lose their “aura”.

England host South Africa at Twickenham on November 12 in a Test between a rising power and one that is one the wane.

Coetzee knows Jones well from working together during South Africa’s 2007 World Cup campaign under Jake White.

“Eddie is a very astute coach,” Coetzee told the Daily Telegraph. “I had the opportunity to work with him – he is a very hard working coach. He has assembled a very physical pack – has got the bite back in the England team.

“He has surrounded himself with great coaches. Neal Hatley, I know him well, he is a good scrumming coach. Then the defence is very sound. That’s how they beat Australia in June – with a sound kicking game, great line-speed and good set piece. They do play a better balanced game, and feed off turnovers and do it well. They are on a roll at the moment.”

The Boks find themselves on a slippery slope after a dismal Rugby Championship campaign, but Coetzee insists they will always be a force to be reckoned with.

“The Springbok will never lose its aura, definitely not,” Coetzee said.

“It might lose a couple of Test matches but if you look at where the Welsh team are today and they have lost 11 Test matches in a row (against Australia). They never lost their aura. Even if you look at England for where they have been and where they are now. We have had a challenging Rugby Championship and we have learnt lessons, we have learnt tough ones.”

Coetzee is still trying to establish a effective game plan with many calling on the Boks to adopt an expansive brand of rugby, but attractive rugby is not something Coetzee’s team’s are known for.

“We like to see a balance between physicality and playing smart rugby,” Coetzee said.

“That is the aim and the mindset. Hopefully we can get that right over the next four weeks. We enjoy scoring tries and that is one of our missions on this tour – to be able to score tries.

“I do not want to move away from the strengths of South Africa. We are really good at mauling and putting teams under pressure with our maul. The laws have favoured the defensive side, but we have had a look at that. If you look at England, that is a very effective part of their game, they have a very good maul, and that’s what we would like to get back as well.”

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