There is no doubt in my mind that there is no better person for the job than Alistair.
His track record is impeccable, and he has all the attributes required for one of the toughest jobs in world sport.
- As assistant to Jake White, he was part of the team that won the RWC in 2007
- He made the Stormers the dominant South African franchise in Super Rugby during his six years in charge, reaching the knockout stage four times.
- As coach, he led Western Province to four domestic Currie Cup finals, winning in 2012 and 2014
- He is a very accomplished, tri-language public speaker, something which is almost as important as rugby knowledge these days.
Fourie du Preez said: “When Allister was Bok assistant coach under Jake White we got on well. He is one of the most knowledgeable backs coaches I have worked with.”
The official announcement is only due next week, and unless SA Rugby does another “Peter de Villiers”, there will be no surprises.
One of Alistair’s attributes that stand out for me is his humility. It is never about him – it is all about the team and the jersey.
There is also far less expectation from fans, as there were when Heyneke Meyer was appointed. After being ditched at the last hurdle and replaced by Peter de Villiers, Meyer’s final succession to the throne was seen by fanatics as a messiah appointment. This also explains the fury when he failed to deliver.
Speculation is rife about many issues, including who he will appoint as assistants and specialists in various fields. Make no mistake, Cheslin Kolbe will be in the side before the ink on Coetzee’s contract has dried, if some can be believed.
My own view is that we will see a far more measured approach to SA rugby under Coetzee than we did under Meyer, purely because he is far more keen to listen than his predecessor, and willing to adapt if Plan A does not work.
Coetzee and Rassie Erasmus also worked closely together in the Western Cape when Rassie was down there. I suspect that this combination will be hugely beneficial to SA rugby in the years ahead.
Of course transformation will be an added challenge, specifically when it comes to big match days. Coetzee already earned his spurs in the make-up of the Stormers teams in the past, and proved that there are enough players who can be selected on merit. Coupled with this is the availability of a number of emerging black players who will be more than able to stand in for the retired big names.
Nee wat, julle kan maar ophou spekuleer dat die hele Stormers span in Junie in groen truie teen die Iere gaan speel. Beide senters gaan van die Bulle af kom – dis nou te sê as De Allende nie beskikbaar is nie, en samesprekings met Sireli Naqelevuki deur die mat val. As Nick Groome steeds beseer is, mag ons dalk vir Faf de Klerk oorweeg, maar ek dink Godlen Masimia sal ‘n beter opsie wees.
Bok-bok staan styf!