SARU boss hints at foreign Bok coach

Date published: December 4 2015

South African Rugby Union President Oregan Hoskins says the appointment of a foreign coach to lead the Springboks is a definite possibility.

Speaking at special media briefing at SARU's headquarters in Cape Town on Friday, Hoskins discussed the decision of Heyneke Meyer to withdraw himself from contention as Springbok coach and looked to address the widespread speculation around his replacement.

When asked by the media if SARU would consider a foreigner for the national job, Hoskins gave a clear answer.

"Yes. I don't think we should rule out any possibility here," said the SARU President.

"It think it would be line with global practice. If you look at the last World Cup, I think 13 out of 20 teams had foreign coaches

"It would be silly to not consider a foreign coach. What we want is the best for South Africa."

Hoskins also poured cold water over speculation at former Stormers boss Allister Coetzee was assured of being appointed, insisting there would be no announcements in the next few weeks.

"We mustn't be hasty. We mustn't rush into anything," said Hoskins, adding that a lengthy, transparent appointment process would take place.

"I see all the headlines saying Allister Coetzee has been appointed. I don't know where that comes from because I don't know anything about it."

Much of the briefing was dominated by the debate our transformation and the number of non-white players given regular game time at Springbok level.

The SARU president underlined that the transformation agenda would be a key consideration when appointing the next coach.

"Transformation is a dynamic thing and whoever applies for the job must know that it has to be top of his agenda," said Hoskins. 

"As an organisation we have to be harder than we've ever been before and lay a huge emphasis on that. We've signed an agreement, we believe in it and have to go forward with that in mind. 

"If anyone wants to be coach, they have to understand that transformation is going to be a big part of that job, which goes along with everything else. We have diverse opinions in this country, and transformation remains of utmost importance going forward."

Hoskins was at pains however to point out that the respective provincial unions were not doing enough to transform the game. 

"We're at crisis point in terms of that," he said. 

"That glass ceiling has become almost concrete, and we need to break it. And the way we need to break it is through the franchises – they need to play their part. 

"Cosatu is going to ask for me to be fired – which is fine, I'll have to walk the plank – but the presidents of the big unions will have to be right behind me unless they assist us in transformation.

"All the Bok coaches have said they need to see more being done at the franchise level in terms of assisting with transformation, and my appeal for 2016 is that we see much more exposure for players of colour."

By Ross Hastie in Cape Town