With the Springbok coach being announced next week by SA Rugby president Oregan Hoskins, we take a look at who will in all likelihood make up the management team.
By now everyone who has been following the appointment of Heyneke Meyer’s successor would have heard that Coetzee is likely to get the nod. The 52-year-old – current head coach at Japan side the Kobelco Steelers – is no stranger to the Springbok setup, he was the forwards coach to the World Cup winning Springboks in France in 2007.
The former Stormers head coach was in charge at Newlands for five years after taking over from Gary Gold – who decided to take up the assistant coaching role with the Springboks at the 2011 World Cup – in 2010. During his tenure the Cape side won three South African Super Rugby Conference titles in 2011, 2012 and 2015. Coetzee has however failed to win the Super Rugby despite having secured two home semi-finals in the last five years. It was in his first year that they, arguably, squandered their best chance at clinching the Super Rugby title after losing 25-17 to the Bulls in Soweto.
According to reports, the current Kings assistant coach is probably the biggest surprise being added to the names of the possible Springbok coaching staff. The 31-year-old former Blitzbok has only started his professional coaching career in 2013, after retiring as a player that year, when he joined the Eastern Province U21 coaching staff as the backline coach. Stick took charge of the Port Elizabeth side’s U19 team and enjoyed a successful season with them in 2015. He guided them to their first U19 title after defeating the Bulls 25-23 at Ellis Park in the final.
The 44-year-old forwards coach has been part of the Stormers coaching since 2007. The former Scotland prop followed Coetzee to the Far East and is the current assistant coach at the Kobelco Steelers. He did immense work developing the Stormers forward pack into a formidable unit. Having worked closely with former defensive coach Jacques Nienaber, Proudfoot restored confidence in a Stormers pack that was struggling in the early 2000s. Coetzee will appoint him as his assistant if the past five years is anything to go by.
IF Ackermann is involved, it would have to be in a dual role with the Lions and Springboks, much like Stephan Larkham currently is doing with the Brumbies and Wallabies. The Lions head coach has been doing a marvelous work with a relatively small budget compared to the powerhouse franchises in South Africa. Average players have become household names. The Ellis Park outfit have reached the Currie Cup final for the past two consecutive years – a feat not achieved since the 1991/92 season – winning it last year after defeating the Western Province side 32-24 in Johannesburg. Ackermann also has the best winning percentage with the Lions since Laurie Mains was head coach, in the early 2000s.
The current Stormers head coach was thrown into the deep end when Eddie Jones took up the England head coaching role after only being in charge of the Cape side for a few days. Fleck was the backline coach for Coetzee. The Stormers are doing incredibly well under Fleck and have managed to beat one of the tournament favourites, the Brumbies, and the Jaguares in Buenos Aires. Fleck could also assume a dual role should he get the call from Coetzee.