Interviews for Bok coach under way

The task of finding a new South Africa rugby coach shifted up a gear on Monday when the first two candidates for the vacant position were interviewed by the country’s rugby bosses.

The favourite for the position, former Bulls boss Heyneke Meyer, and South African under-21 coach Peter de Villiers were subjected to lengthy interviews on Monday.

The other two candidates—Allister Coetzee and Chester Williams—will be interviewed on Tuesday.

Meyer appears to be the first-choice candidate to get the job after his successful six-year term with the Bulls, which saw them lift the southern hemisphere inter-provincial Super 14 crown last season.

The Bulls also won four domestic Currie Cup titles while Meyer was in charge. He resigned as the Bulls’ coach in the latter stages of last year.

De Villiers has also got an impressive CV after leading the national under-21 team to the world championship title last year, while many, including World Cup-winning coach White, believe Coetzee is the man for the job.

He played a critical role in the Springbok side over the last four years, culminating in the team winning the World Cup in France in October last season.

Williams is the outsider after failing to make any kind of impact in the 15-man game once he’d hung up his playing boots.

He was, however, a very successful winger in his day, winning a gold medal at the 1995 World Cup, while he also achieved plenty of success as national Sevens coach.

The Bok coaching position became vacant at the end of last year when White opted to not re-apply for the position.

South African Rugby Union (Saru) boss Oregan Hoskins was quoted in the press on Monday as saying: “It is crucial that we appoint the right man ... this is a critical week for South African rugby.”

The committee interviewing the four candidates will submit their recommendation to Saru’s main decision-making body, the president’s council, on Wednesday for approval.

While the new Bok boss is expected to be known by Friday, the president’s council may well announce White’s successor on Wednesday.—AFP


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