Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said on Tuesday he was very satisfied with the feedback he received from local franchise coaches and players during his two-week road trip to the six South African Super Rugby teams.
The series of visits was the first opportunity for the new Springbok coach to meet the players and coaching staff of the Vodacom Bulls, Cell C Sharks, DHL Stormers, Toyota Cheetahs, Emirates Lions and Southern Kings since his appointment to the national coaching job in April.
Coetzee was accompanied by assistant coaches Johann van Graan, Matt Proudfoot and Mzwandile Stick, as well as Warren Adams (strength and conditioning coach), Vivian Verwant, Tanu Pillay (physiotherapists) and Ian Schwartz (team manager).
The Bok management finished off their two-week mission on Monday, 23 May when they met with the DHL Stormers players and coaching personnel at their training headquarters in Bellville, Cape Town.
Apart from explaining the Bok coach’s plans for the upcoming year, the visit also formed part of the national team’s planning for their upcoming training camp for the first Test between the Springboks and Ireland in the Castle Lager Incoming Series. The series consists of three Tests and kicks off in Cape Town, when the two countries meet on Saturday, 11 June at DHL Newlands.
Coetzee said it was very important for him and his staff to meet with the local coaches and players before start of the international season.
“I believe that it is very important to have a very good working relationship between the Springbok management staff, the franchise coaches and players. During our visits I explained my philosophy to them and give them feedback of what is expected of a player when he is selected for the Springboks,” explained Coetzee.
According to the Bok coach they learnt a lot from the exercise: “A huge positive for me is the great passion and desire of the players to represent South Africa. And the willingness of all the coaches to contribute to the success of the Springboks is also something special.
“Now that I’ve visited the franchises, I would also like to visit to all the other provincial unions at some stage because alignment is very important. I believe that every player, at all the different levels of the game, must continue to dream of playing for the Springboks,” said Coetzee.
The Springbok squad will be named on Saturday, 28 May, at DHL Newlands following the last Vodacom Super Rugby fixture of the day between the Vodacom Bulls and Emirates Lions at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria (17h10 kick-off).
SA Rugby will also announce the names of the SA A squad who will be in action in two matches against the visiting England Saxon team, at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Friday 10 June and Outeniqua Park in George on Friday 17 June. Both matches will kick off at 19h10.