Meet the contenders to be the next Springboks coach

Heyneke Meyer, Coach of South Africa ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Heyneke Meyer has handed in his resignation letter to the South African Rugby Union (SARU) that he no longer wished to be considered as a candidate to coach the Springboks.

Meyer communicated his desire to stand aside to SARU following a recent meeting with Oregan Hoskins, SARU president, and the CEO, Jurie Roux.

Meyer coached the team to 34 victories and two draws in 50 matches.

During his tenure, the Springboks recorded a 66.7% winning record in Tests and scored 143 Test tries – second only to New Zealand in that time.

Now that Meyer has vacated his position, speculation over who should take over from him has begun. Calls for a foreign coach has become louder as many feel the stilted style of the Boks to rely on big burly forwards to create impetus in a match is outdated.

The next coach may be be selected at Saru’s General Council which scheduled to meet on 11 December to discuss the candidates, though it is unclear if a vote will be taken then.

Each of South Africa’s 14 provincial unions has two votes to put towards who should be the next Bok coach, with Saru president Oregan Hoskins having a deciding 29th vote if needed.




Robbie Deans.

Robert Maxwell Deans (born 4 September 1959) is a New Zealand rugby union coach and former player.

He is currently the head coach of Japanese club Panasonic Wild Knights.

Deans was head coach of the Australian national team between 2008 and 2013.

He had previously coached the Crusaders for eight seasons and was an assistant coach of New Zealand between late 2001 and 2003.

As the coach of the Crusaders, Deans has won more Super rugby titles than any other (three Super 12 titles and two Super14 titles).





Johan Ackerman.

Johannes Nicolaas “Johan” Ackermann (born June 3, 1970) is a retired South African player and current Lions (Super Rugby) and the Golden Lions coach.

In 2007, Johan Ackermann became the oldest Springbok to play for the national side, at the age of 37. After the 2007 World Cup in France, he was recalled to the Springbok squad to play against the Barbarians. This was his last outing as an international player.

Ackermann originally was the Forwards coach of the Lions in Super Rugby under head coach, John Mitchel. After Mitchel left the Union, he took over.

He has seen huge success as coach of the Union including winning the SARU Coach of the Year award in 2014, his first year as head coach.




John Plumtree.

John Plumtree is the current forwards coach for the Hurricanes and is the former head coach of the Natal Sharks.

As a player, Plumtree won two Currie Cup medals with the Sharks (1990, 1996); and as a coach he guided the Sharks to Currie Cup wins in 2008 and 2010.




John Mitchell.

John Eric Paul Mitchell, (born 23 March 1964) is a former player and former coach for the New Zealand All Blacks.

Having been released as coach of the Western Force, he took up coaching the Lions in the 2011 Super Rugby competition.

After two seasons with the Lions, Mitchell then accepted a position atSale Sharks in the UK towards the end of 2012, but on 29 December 2012, Sale announced Mitchell had returned to South Africa citing personal reasons.



Allister Coetzee.

Allister ‘Toetie’ Coetzee (born 23 May 1963 in Grahamstown) is a South African rugby union coach and former player.

He started assisting Eastern Province coaches Johan Kluyts and Steve Baker in 1996 and was appointed assistant coach.

In 1998, he was also appointed as the team manager at Super Rugby side the Sharks, where he also became an assistant coach in 2000.

Coetzee also coached the Emerging Springboks in 1998 and became a selector for the national team at the end of 2003.

He was then an assistant coach alongside Eddie Jones when South Africa won the World Cup in 2007 under Jake White and has coached the Stormers in Cape Town for the past six years.


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Sonwabile Antonie

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