‘Coetzee can revive Boks’ fortunes’ – Jones

Date published: October 27 2016

England boss Eddie Jones has backed Allister Coetzee to revive the Springboks' fortunes despite a tough year for the two-time world champions.

The Boks have won four out of nine Tests under Coetzee's guidance this year while England, by contrast, have won all nine of their internationals with Jones at the helm during the same period

Jones' charges take on South Africa at Twickenham on November 12 and the Boks head into that clash as overwhelming underdogs after suffering a humiliating 57-15 defeat to the All Blacks in their last Rugby Championship match earlier this month.

Much has been said about South Africa's racial politics which has put pressure on the South African Rugby Union (SARU) to field sides which more accurately reflect a country where 90 percent of the population is black. 

Although that policy has not always been stated explicitly, the SARU supported a South African government demand that 50 percent the 2019 World Cup team be black. 

When queried about this on Wednesday, Jones, who worked as a consultant for the Springboks when they won the World Cup in 2007, said: "That's South Africa, mate.

"We always used to have the saying 'T.I.A' which means 'This is Africa'. They're the cards that you're dealt with and that's the country that you live in. 

"There's no use complaining about it, you've got to get on with it and pick the side that suits the country’s politics and Allister will do that better than anyone else." 

Jones insisted that there are still enviable rugby resources in South Africa.  

"If you look at the depth of players then they've got nothing to complain about, they've got enormous depth of players," he added. 

"Everyone wants a strong South African side because it's good for world rugby."