South African Rugby
Coetzee dismisses Bok link
September 7, 2010
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee contemplates his side's clash with the Sharks, Stormers training session, High Performance Centre, Belville, Cape Town, South Africa, May 5, 2010
Allister Coetzee has dismissed Jake White's coup claims © Getty Images

Allister Coetzee has distanced himself from reports linking him with the Springbok coaching job.

The Western Province boss has been tipped as a successor to current national boss Peter De Villiers, whose position is under threat after a dismal Tri-Nations campaign.

Former Bok boss Jake White on Monday offered his services to the South African Rugby Union on an interim basis - naming his former assistant Coetzee as the ideal candidate to take over long-term following next year's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Coetzee has immediately moved to dispel the rumours however, insisting that there is no substance to the reports.

"The link made to me and the Bok job is media speculation," he told Business Day."There is a Springbok coach at the moment and SARU should decide who they want to take over the job and when, and they have fixed processes to deal with such things. At this point my focus is on the Currie Cup and guiding Western Province to success."

De Villiers faces a SARU performance review at the end of September after presiding over only a single win in this year's Tri-Nations, a stark contrast to their romp to the title in 2009. He has also become embroiled in yet another media storm after pledging the team's support to Bulls prop Bees Roux, who stands accused of murdering a Pretoria police officer.

Meanwhile, SARU has confirmed that all centrally contracted Springboks will spend the next four weeks in a conditioning programme. Senior players have been withdrawn from Currie Cup competition until October 6 and will only be available for the last round of group matches as well as the play-offs.

The defending champions, the Bulls, are most heavily affected with seven players - Victor Matfield , Danie Rossouw, Bakkies Botha, Wynand Olivier, Morne Steyn, Fourie du Preez and Pierre Spies - involved.

The Sharks lose five players in John Smit, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira, JP Pietersen and Adi Jacobs while Western Province are in the same boat - Schalk Burger, Jaque Fourie, Bryan Habana, Ricky Januarie and Andries Bekker being seconded. The Cheetahs will have Juan Smith, Heinrich Brussow and CJ van der Linde missing.

All non-contracted Springboks are available immediately for their provinces, meaning that the likes of Gurthro Steenkamp, Francois Hougaard, Jannie du Plessis, Francois Louw and Gio Aplon will return despite playing major roles in the recent Tri-Nations.


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