Internationals

De Villiers: Coetzee the right man for Springboks

Jean de Villiers said Allister Coetzee has taken on a big challenge by agreeing to become South Africa head coach but believes he is the right man for the job.

Coetzee was confirmed as successor to Heyneke Meyer on Tuesday, signing a four-year deal after leaving his role with Japanese franchise Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers.

The 52-year-old was assistant coach when South Africa won the 2007 World Cup and has since gone on to take roles with Western Province and Stormers before moving to Japan.

Former Sprinboks captain De Villiers, who retired after suffering a fractured jaw during the World Cup in England last year, thinks Coetzee has every chance of being a success.

The Leicester Tigers centre told Omnisport: "I think it was the right appointment, Allister has been around for a long time and is very experienced. 

"He was assistant under Jake White when we won the World Cup and has spent five years with Stormers. He has earned the right to be given the role and ticks all the right boxes.

"He will be under no illusions as to the size of the job that he has taken on, but he has everything in place to be a success."

Coetzee will be unable to call on the likes of legendary trio De Villiers, Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez after they called time on their illustrious international careers.

But De Villiers said Coetzee, who will be assisted by Mzwandile Stick and Johann van Graan, has no shortage of talent at his disposal.

"It's always exciting when there is a new coach with new players. He has to establish a culture and make his mark on the job," he added.

"There will be a lot of challenges and it is very important that he has the support staff in place, because it is less about coaching in that position. It's is about getting down to the nitty gritty and overseeing everything.

"There are a lot of players putting their hand up to be selected with their performances in Super Rugby at the moment and some talented young players who played during the World Cup, so we have all got to get behind them and give them our backing."