The issue around Rassie Erasmus’ appointment as the Springboks’ Director of Rugby and the role which Allister Coetzee may or may not play under the former Munster supremo has been in the headlines during the last week when a letter from Coetzee to the South African Rugby Union was reported by the media.
The quotes which were published originally were more or less an attack on SA Rugby from Coetzee and the Springbok head coach described the possibility of working under Erasmus as an ‘indignity’.
Now, in further quotes published from that letter by sarugbymag.co.za, Coetzee claims Erasmus is ‘less competent’ than him and also that SA Rugby appointed him only to disguise the ultimate goal which was for Erasmus to replace Heyneke Meyer.
‘There’s a general belief within SA Rugby that the plan had always been to replace Heyneke Meyer with Rassie. But SA Rugby wanted to avoid any controversy regarding transformation and a strategy was put in place to use my appointment to disguise their ultimate goal of putting Rassie in the role,’ Coetzee wrote.
Further to this, Coetzee believes that it was distasteful that SA Rugby used him as a ‘pawn’ because he is a black South African.
‘A strategy was developed to use me as a coloured person to conceal the end goal – by offering me the job as Bok coach – but to not equip me with the necessary resources to adequately perform my tasks. It would lead to me vacating my position earlier in order for Rassie to eventually be appointed.
‘This strategy is not in line with SA Rugby’s transformation mandate. It’s distasteful, to say the least, to use me as a black South African as a pawn in such an untenable manner.’
Considering these claims have been widely reported by the media, we should expect an official response from SA Rugby and it will certainly be interesting to see what their take on all of this will be.