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Shake-up possible in South Africa

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    04 Dec 2017     Getty Images

Having ended the year with another loss 22-24 to Wales at the weekend, speculation in South Africa is that incumbent coach Allister Coetzee will not survive a review to be held next week.

South Africa have won only 11 of 25 Tests under his charge – a success rate of 44 percent.

That compared with Heyneke Meyer's 71 percent, de Villiers' 68 percent and Jake White's 68 percent.

In the new year, former Springbok Rassie Erasmus will begin as the director of rugby for South Africa which will put the Springboks under his care, although not technically as head coach.

Erasmus was recruited from his role at Munster in Ireland with the aim of turning the Springboks around.

His brief will see him pick the Springbok squads, decide the side's game plans and structure and he will effectively fulfil the role of head coach.

Jacques Nienaber, who was Erasmus' defence coach with Munster will take on the same role in South Africa.

It is anticipated Erasmus will also make changes to the support structure surrounding the side with implications for the future of Coetzee's support team of Franco Smith, Matthew Proudfoot and Brendan Venter. Among those being considered for a future role is de Villiers, who finished with the side after the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Lineout specialist Johann van Graan had already left the line-up to take over Erasmus' job in Munster.

IOL.co.za reported that Coetzee is understood to have a position lined up in Japan should he be dismissed.

South Africa Rugby are also reported to be considering doing away with their 30-Test eligibility run for overseas-based players which had been introduced with the aim of stopping the player drain from the country.

With that in mind Erasmus is keen to have the likes of No.8 Duane Vermeulen and utility back Frans Steyn involved with the side in the 2019 Rugby World Cup build-up, with Vermeulen regarded as a key contender for the captaincy of the side.

Meanwhile Coetzee said in Cardiff after the Wales loss that he would not resign and was signed on until 2019.

"The team has really grown. It's a really healthy team environment.

"They are hurting at the moment. They feel they let themselves down and the country down. You can only feel like that if you have a good team environment.

"That wasn't the case last year. Last year was a fiasco. Definitely a fiasco," he said.