Four vie for Springbok post

The Board Executive Committee of SA Rugby (Pty) Ltd has shortlisted four applicants - Allister Coetzee, Rudy Joubert, Rudolph Straeuli and Jake White - for consideration for the vacant post of Springbok coach.

Applications for the position closed on Monday with a total of 35 applications received. Members of the Board Executive Committee, Chairman Silas Nkanunu, Ronnie Masson, Keith Parkinson, Arthob Petersen, and MD Rian Oberholzer, as well as SARFU CEO Mveleli Ncula as an ex-officio member, met in Johannesburg on Tuesday to consider the applications and determine the way forward.

Dr Theunie Lategan could not attend the meeting but did give inputs into the process.

The majority of applicants did not meet the minimum requirements as set out in the advertisement for the post. However, the Board Executive Committee was satisfied that the four shortlisted candidates met fully with the criteria for the post. It was unanimously agreed that it would therefore not be necessary to look beyond the four shortlisted candidates.

The Board Executive Committee said in a statement that, contrary to speculation in the media, the following persons did not apply for the post: Gert Smal, Francois Pienaar, Brendan Venter, Alan Solomons, Nick Mallett and Eric Sauls.

The four shortlisted candidates will participate in an interview process over the next two weeks. Once the interviews have been completed the Board Executive Committee will make a recommendation to the full Board of SA Rugby (Pty) Ltd, which will appoint the new coach at the beginning of March.

Coetzee (pictured) is a former Eastern Province scrumhalf. He also represented the South African Rugby Union (SARFU) before unity in the game and started his coaching career as assistant to Nelie Smith at Eastern Province before taking over the reigns last year. He was assistant coach to Harry Viljoen on the Springboks end-of-year tour in 2000 and last year he coached the SA 'A' team on their tour of Europe.

Straeuli was a member of the 1995 World Cup winning squad and he has coaching experience at Border, Bedford in England and the Natal Sharks and the Sharks Super 12 squad. He led the Natal Sharks to two Currie Cup finals in two years and the Sharks to last year's Super 12 final. He was beaten on all three accounts. He has the most impressive CV and at this stage must be the favourite to get the job.

Joubert is currently coaching Cardiff in Wales. He built up an impressive record in South African coaching since being part of Kitch Christie's 1995 World Cup management team. He was also on Carel du Plessis' Springbok management team before taking up the job as SARFU's director of coaching. He has written a number of coaching manuals and also took charge of Namibia at the 1999 World Cup tournament. He coached Boland for three years before taking up the Cardiff job.

White was technical adviser to Nick Mallett during the latter's stint as Bok coach. He was also an assistant coach to Viljoen and was Coetzee's right hand man on last year's 'A' tour.