29 Nov 2016

Springbok coach refuses to quit

7:05 am on 29 November 2016

South Africa rugby coach Allister Coetzee has defied calls to quit after the worst year in Springbok history, claiming he's determined to fix the problem and see out his contract.

Springboks coach Allister Coetzee says it's always a big battle when they clash with the All Blacks, and tonight will be no different.

Under fire Springboks coach Allister Coetzee. Photo: Photosport

"I've been appointed to 2019 and I want to make sure that when I leave I do so with a firm, concrete, tangible blueprint in place for how the Springboks must be run," he told reporters as the team returned home after a dismal tour of Europe.

Having lost to England, Italy and Wales, South Africa slipped to sixth in the World Rugby rankings.

It meant they finished with eight defeats in 12 tests this year for the worst return in 125 years of Springbok rugby.

"Sometimes things have got to go as low as they can before they can go upwards again," said Coetzee.

"This now is a massive opportunity for SA Rugby to not only plaster over the cracks, but to clean it up.

"We've got six months until we get back together again and need to spend that time wisely, planning for how we're going to get back to the top," he added.

Coetzee, appointed in April, was heavily criticised after South Africa lost 27-13 to Wales in Cardiff to end a dreadful tour, which included a first ever defeat by Italy.

"I feel dreadfully sorry for Allister because he is a decent guy but better Springboks coaches than him have been fired," said Nick Mallett, one of his predecessors and the country's foremost rugby analyst on television.

South Africa have not yet announced fixtures for 2017 but are expected to host France for three tests in June before playing in the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship from August-October before ending the year again on tour in Britain.


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