Former Springbok coach Jake White has hit out at the top brass of SA Rugby following the dismissal of Allister Coetzee as national coach.
SA Rugby and Coetzee parted ways last Friday after two tumultuous Springbok seasons which saw the team win only 11 of 25 Tests (44% win record).
It emerged that Coetzee had hit out at his employers in a letter addressed to SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.
Coetzee sent a 19-page document via his legal representatives to Roux in a bid to show that almost all of the problems during his two-year tenure were due to external factors.
The former Stormers coach was not happy with the support he received from SA Rugby and expressed his dismay at the appointment of Rassie Erasmus as SA Rugby’s director of rugby.
White, who coached the Springboks to the World Cup title in 2007, sympathised with Coetzee via a column on the All Out Rugby website.
White wrote: “Allister Coetzee should have raised his objections when he got the Springbok job - his claims would have had much more credibility if he’d voiced them at the beginning of his term instead of at the end. Having said that, I do believe he got the raw end of the deal. The Bok coach will never be successful when the boardroom plays the guitar and he’s expected to dance, and that all started when Allister got the job via a text message without any interview process.”
According to White, Coetzee started his role on the back foot.
“I think that his love for the Boks and his desire to coach the national team probably clouded his reaction to the parameters he’d have to work in and, instead of saying it can’t be done, he overlooked the impact of those restrictions,” White added.
“It’s impossible to compete in international rugby if you don’t have an even playing field. If you’re playing against top Test teams that have got carte blanche, but you don’t, then you’re not going to win. I don’t know why anyone would want to go coach in the international arena at a disadvantage - if someone starts 10 metres ahead of you in a 100m race, then chances are you won’t catch up.”
White also questioned why there was no interview process for the Bok head coaching role and warned that the team would get the same results if no changes were made.
White coached the Springboks between 2004 and 2007, but his contract was not renewed despite winning the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
The 54-year-old currently coaches the Toyota Verblitz club in Japan.