No 'egos' in Allister's new Bok team

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 12:27
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NEWLANDS INDABA, PART THREE: Alister Coetzee believes that the new additions to his Springbok coaching panel will not ruffle the feathers of those already there. Jan de Koning reports.

Free State Cheetahs head coach Franco Smith and Golden Lions defence specialist JP Ferreira have been seconded to the Springbok management team for the end-of-year tour - which features Tests against England (November 12, London), Italy (November 19, Florence) and Wales (November 26, Cardiff) and opens with a match against the Barbarians at Wembley on November 5.

Ferreira replaced Chean Roux as the defence expert, while Smith has been brought in to help 'mentor' Mzwandile Stick with backline play and skills.

Coetzee is adamant the new additions will be welcomed with open arms in the Bok set-up.

"There won't be any egos," Coetzee said, adding any such issues were sorted out at the coaching indaba at Newlands last week.

"That [over-inflated egos] has been a South African problem for years," the Bok coach said, adding: "We were living in our own little kingdoms and we thought that we are all chiefs.

"It made us poorer.

"I was so impressed with the fact that coaches were prepared to leave their egos outside [the indaba door] and make sure we hone in on what is lacking - to make sure our skillsets need to improve.

"It is time we look at this opportunity to collaborate and work together."

Coetzee said you have to look at it two-fold - there is long-term and short-term.

"That is what the indaba focussed on, what can be rectified immediately.

"In terms of my management team, it was my request to the board of the South African Rugby Union that we need to rectify two immediate areas of our game, which wasn't good throughout our [June Tests and Rugby Championship] campaigns.

"Our defence was [not as good] as it used to be. We have become obsessed with ball-in-hand, heads-up and expansive rugby.

"We used to be good at defence."

Smith said he will have a proper talk with Coetzee during the team's training camp - which started in Johannesburg on Sunday.

"There's a lot of belief in what we [the Currie Cup champion Free State Cheetahs] have done here and even what the [Super Rugby finalist] Lions have done.

"It is important for us to sit down and see where I can contribute."

By Jan de Koning, on the Newlands coaches indaba