In one move the guys at the South African Rugby Union undid all the good work that was done at the Springboks this year.
Yes, I am talking about Saru’s decision to appoint Rassie Erasmus as Allister Coetzee’s new boss at the Springboks.
Apparently not everyone is on the same page about this decision.
And rightly so.
I can only imagine how bad Allister must feel about the move.
The two have worked together in the past at the Stormers. So they’ve built on their working relationship in the past.
But after going through one of the toughest years in Bok history in 2016, Allister did well to get his team to gel this year.
And it showed in their performances.
I have been vocal about the new brotherhood in the squad in the past, but I’m afraid the appointment of Erasmus will only do
damage to what has been done this year.
Here you have a man who hasn’t been part of the Boks’ planning, he wasn’t there when they held all the indabas and you have to wonder whether he will share the same ideas on the way forward as the rest of the group.
Yes, Erasmus is a forward-thinking coach and as a tactician he can’t be faulted.
But what his appointed has done is push the reset button at the Boks and with the World Cup only a little over two years away, the timing of the addition has to be of concern to the Bok fans.
If the Boks do manage to win the World Cup, will the credit go to Coetzee or Erasmus?
And that’s where I personally feel Toetie has been undermined.
As coach of the national team you get four years to plot and plan your way to the World Cup.
If Erasmus was appointed as Director of Rugby at the start of Coetzee’s term, I would have had no problem with it.
Now it just feels that he has been roped in to oversee Coetzee and guide him to what he believes is the right thing to do.
This sort of confusion can spill over to the players and create uncertainty.
Coetzee has already identified his spine of players that will go to Japan in 2019.
What if Erasmus has a different opinion and ideas on who should go to the global showpiece?
Who will be the one tasked with talking to players?
Who will lead the team talks? Who will be in charge of tactics?
Who will get the credit in the end and who will be the fall guy when things don’t go well?
I can only see one loser in this scenario and I think it’s clear to see who that is…