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Ex-Springboks coach makes startling revelations

Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers claims members of the South African Rugby Union paid the Boland Cavaliers to not consider him for their head coaching position last year.

De Villiers, who coached the Springboks between 2008 and 2011, was linked to the Boland job after Brent Janse van Rensburg quit as Boland coach in October 2016.

But in an interview with Jo’burg PM, De Villiers alleges that there were sinister means behind his removal from contention for the job.

“I don’t know what I did wrong. I think I am too strong… my way of thinking, my way of doing things… and maybe there’s something wrong with my ears because I don’t listen to things I know won’t work. And the rugby people don’t like it”… De Villiers said in the interview.

“They will never allow me to go to any rugby union in South Africa. What I heard very early last year is that people from SARU paid Boland actually, or offered them money not to even consider me…I heard it from a very good source.”

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It was not the first time De Villiers was linked to the Boland head coaching role.

In May 2015, it was also reported that he could become Boland coach, before Dewey Swartbooi got the nod for that year’s Currie Cup.

When Swartbooi quit Boland for a job at the Bulls late in 2015, Janse van Rensburg was roped in after resigning at the financially stricken EP Kings.

Janse van Rensburg, who has since been named head coach of the Pumas, quit the Boland job under mysterious circumstances.

It came a week after Boland’s director of rugby, Alan Zondagh, also resigned, citing political interference from the union’s board as a reason for his departure.

In December last year, Boland named Randall Modiba as their new head coach on a two-year deal.

Modiba was the team’s defence coach in last year’s Currie Cup Qualifiers and attack/backline coach during the Currie Cup Premier Division.

Meanwhile, SA Rugby president Mark Alexander has thrown a spanner in the works by denying that Springbok coach Allister Coetzee staying is a foregone conclusion.

Since the Boks returned from their abysmal tour of Europe, where they lost all three of their Test matches, including a first defeat to Italy, speculation has been rife that SA Rugby had all but decided to persist with Coetzee as they do not have the rumoured R13 million they would need to sack him.

But Alexander said a few days ago the organisation was looking at its options, one of which included continuing without Coetzee.

“We’re not sure which way we’re going, whether we’re keeping Allister or not,” said Alexander.

“We still have presentations to go through but no formal decision has been made on whether we’re going forward with him or not.

“At the end of January we’ll make an announcement on whether we’re keeping him.”

If that sounded a little too much like Alexander pacifying a rugby public which would rather see the back of Coetzee before doing an about-turn come the end of the month, he surprised by warming to his ‘uncertain’ task.

“We’re still looking to see if we’ve got the right people in place and, if not, where we can find them,” he said.

“We’re not sure what type of coach we want and what style we want to play. You have to remember that it’s not just one man – it’s a whole coaching team.

“There are no quick fixes, we’ve got some seriously big decisions to make.

“It’s easy to stay with Allister, [but] we need to make the right decision because whatever we do will impact our [2019] World Cup campaign, which we want to win.”

Alexander also revealed that, almost as if smelling blood in the water, coaches the world over had availed themselves for Coetzee’s job. The Chronicle