South Africa Springboks Rugby News

Smal and Erasmus lead race for Springboks job



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The answer to the question of who will be named the next Springbok coach gets more and more confusing as the South African public get closer to the announcement.

The next Springbok coach is expected to be announced on the 27th of January with SARugby agreeing the day before to sign off on the new coach.

Current Springbok coach Peter de Villiers had his contract extended by a month and was named on SARugby’s coaches shortlist but he has ruled himself out of the running after he had a meeting with Jurie Roux earlier this week.

Initially in November last year Stormers and Western Province coach Allister Coetzee appeared to be the favourite to land the job but he has now dropped in the favourites list.

Coetzee has also insisted that he is not in the running for the position on his Twitter account by saying, “I am focusing on the Stormers.”

“Im definitely not involved, or in the run for the Bok job. Whoever gets the job would be a good candidate.”

Coetzee’s Boss at the start of the year Rassie Erasmus was also linked to the job as a Technical or Performance Director but when he stood down from his position with the Stormers was strangely linked closer to an international position than the Springboks.

Initially he was linked to a French Top 14 club and also with England where it was suggested that he might work under former Springbok coach Nick Mallett after the Six Nations.

While Coetzee and Erasmus have been linked to the job the favourite for the last six weeks has been Ireland forwards coach Gert Smal.

Smal has excellent credentials and was Jake White’s Assistant between 2004 and 2007 and has been with Ireland since 2008.

Smal was understood to be SARugby’s favourite to be named Springbok coach but then early this week South Africa’s first Super Rugby winning coach Heyneke Meyer appeared to be edging ahead of Smal and there were reports of SARugby trying to buy out Meyer’s contract with the Blue Bulls.

Meyer said back in November that he was not interested in coaching the Springboks after he was overlooked in favour of Peter de Villiers and that he was happy with the Bulls.

Whilst the reports of Meyer’s contract being bought out by SARugby were doing their rounds reports have surfaced that Smal has been holding out on SARugby over his contract and salary which is apparently why Meyer has come back into the picture.

Erasmus has also come back into the picture and according to a number of reports is expected to be named Springbok Technical Advisor.

However, the smart money now appears to be back on Gert Smal to be named Springbok Head coach and for him to start some time in April after Ireland have completed the Six Nations.

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