Springboks coach fighting to keep job - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Springboks coach fighting to keep job

By Gerald Imray 07/09/2010 02:18:47 PM Comments (0)

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers is facing a battle to keep his job after five losses in six Tri-Nations games with reports linking 2007 World Cup-winning coach Jake White to a Springboks return.

De Villiers has made controversial headlines off the pitch, having faced a SANZAR disciplinary hearing for questioning the honesty of referees and later claiming his team supports a rugby player accused of murdering a policeman.

The South African Rugby Union said on Sunday it would hold its annual review of the Springboks' performance in the Tri-Nations with De Villiers later this month. The defending champions lost 41-39 to Australia in Bloemfontein on Saturday in its last match of the season.

"The review will include all aspects of Springbok performance," the statement said, alluding to De Villiers' role being closely scrutinised after a disastrous tournament for the Boks.

De Villiers may also have more to answer for than just a poor run of results.

His comments that the Springboks support Bulls prop Bees Roux "100 per cent" after the Super 14 player was accused of beating to death a traffic officer may have more serious repercussion.

Roux is currently out on bail and has said he intends to plead not guilty.

SARU president Oregan Hoskins said there would be "formal discussions" with De Villiers about his "reported comments."

Hoskins also said he had written to the family of Johannes Mogale, the policeman Roux is accused of killing, to "express the union's support and condolences at this time of mourning."

South Africa's defeat on Saturday condemned the defending champions to last place in the Tri-Nations.

The Times newspaper in South Africa reported that White has contacted Hoskins about leading the Springboks to next year's World Cup in place of De Villiers.

"I'm ready to do a hospital job ... if the South African Rugby Union wants me," The Times quoted White as saying. "I've already made contact with SARU president Oregan Hoskins, but he keeps telling me he has to run the idea past the executive council.

"I'm saying I'm available because what we've seen with the Springboks in the past 10 months is worrying. I can't bear to watch the Springboks playing like this anymore."

In an interview with the supersport.com website, White said he would link up again with former Australia coach Eddie Jones, who was on White's technical staff in 2007.

"Neither myself or Eddie are under contract with anyone at the moment," White said. "We can start next week if SARU want us to.

"To me, it's hard to imagine how they can think they can carry on with the current setup."

SARU communications manager Andy Colquhoun said his organisation wouldn't comment on the reports.

"There could be half a dozen coaches wanting to take over from Peter, that doesn't mean it's going to happen. We are not going to speculate," Colquhoun said Monday.

Asked if he was still the man to lead South Africa following Saturday's loss, De Villiers said: "The structures we have in place, I think they can take us to the World Cup and beyond if they are executed properly."

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