SA Rugby has assembled a vastly experienced team management to assist the new Springbok head coach with the core duties in preparing the team for the next four years.
Allister Coetzee has been named as head coach of the Springboks for the next four years, ushering in an exciting new era for rugby in South Africa, said Mr Oregan Hoskins, president of SA Rugby this morning.
The 52-year-old former Springbok assistant coach succeeds Heyneke Meyer at a time when a number of veterans of the 2007 Rugby World Cup triumph have gone into retirement, including three of last year’s four captains.
Coetzee was a Junior Springbok in 1992 and played Currie Cup rugby for Eastern Province between 1992 and 1996 and also played in the 1994 Super 10 competition for them.
During his playing career, he was a teacher at Gelvan Park Primary School in Port Elizabeth, where he worked for fifteen years. He played as a scrum-half and retired at the end of 1996.
Coetzee called up former Springbok Sevens captain Mzwandile Stick to join Johann van Graan as assistant coach, with Ian Schwartz carrying on as team manager.
The 31 year-old Stick is a product of Newell High School, Port Elizabeth and has a playing career stretching back to 2002 in his first appearance at fullback for the Mighty Elephants. Stick played for the Sharks from 2004 – 2007, the Springbok Sevens team from 2005 – 2009, SA Under 21 in 2005, the EP Kings in 201 – 2011 and the South African Kings in 2011. From 2013 to 2016 Stick was assistant coach for the Eastern Province Kings Under 21 side.
Van Graan is retained in his role as assistant, while Stick joins the coaching staff after a stellar playing with the Springbok Sevens, where he was the captain and also a member of the team that won the World Series title in the 2008/09 season. Last year Stick coached Eastern Province to the Provincial Under-19 title.
The Springboks’ strength and conditioning will fall under Dr Warren Adams, while the medical team will consist of Dr Jerome Mampane and physiotherapists Vivian Verwant and Tanu Pillay.
The experienced Verwant, who has been part of the Springbok management since 2007, is retained in his position and he will be joined by Pillay, who has done duty with the Springbok Women’s and the Sevens Women’s teams for a number of years.
Adams and Mampane joins the Springboks after performing similar roles for the Junior Springboks the past three years.
Three experienced members complete the backroom staff in JJ Fredericks (logistics), Rayaan Adriaanse (media) and Annelee Murray (PR), all of whom bring with them many years of experience in their respective fields at international level.
“These are people who are not only dedicated and passionate, but vastly experienced,” said Coetzee.
“Johann, Ian, Vivian, JJ, Rayaan and Annelee have all been involved with the Springboks before and bring with them a wealth of experience, while Warren, Jerome and Tanu have all worked with other national teams before.
“By involving experienced people, and combined with the stellar work done already by the Rugby Department in planning for the season, we’ll hit the ground running when we first assemble.”
SA Rugby also confirmed that Coetzee will be able to call on the assistance of consultants when the need arises during his tenure.
Coetzee is arguably the most experienced man to be given the Springbok head coach’s job. He will draw on his personal involvement in 66 matches in the Springbok backroom in 2000 and between 2004 and 2007. He also has an exemplary record at Currie Cup and Vodacom Super Rugby record.
Coetzee said he was extremely honoured and humbled to coach the Springboks.
“This job comes with a huge amount of responsibility because our passionate fans rightfully demand the best from the Springboks at all times,” said Coetzee.
“Rugby ignites so much passion in our country. The team inspires all our people and every young rugby player in our country aspires to be a Springbok one day. I know full well that coaching the Springboks requires a lot of dedication, patience and hard work. I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity.”
The Southern Kings’ Dr Conrad von Hagen, will fill in as team doctor during the June series against Ireland, while Mampane is with the Junior Springboks at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester. Mampane will join the Springboks in time for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.
The Springbok Team Management is:
- Head coach: Allister Coetzee
- Assistant coach (backline): Mzwandile Stick
- Assistant coach (forwards): Johann van Graan
- Team manager: Ian Schwartz
- Team doctor: Dr Jerome Mampane / Dr Conrad von Hagen (Southern Kings)
- Strength and Conditioning coach: Dr Warren Adams
- Physiotherapist: Vivian Verwant
- Physiotherapist: Tanu Pillay
- Logistics manager: JJ Fredericks
- Media manager: Rayaan Adriaanse
- PR manager: Annelee Murray