WATCH | Defiant Coetzee unfazed by the mounting calls for his head

04 December 2017 - 15:27 By Mahlatse Mphahlele

Just minutes after landing at OR Tambo International Airport on Monday on his return from the Boks' tour of Europe‚ Springbok coach Allister Coetzee threw down the gauntlet to his employers and sa...

Defiant Springboks coach Allister Coetzee has come out with guns blazing and is unfazed by the mounting calls for his head.

Just minutes after landing at OR Tambo International Airport after returning from the Boks' tour of Europe on Monday‚ Coetzee threw down the gauntlet to his employers and said it was business as usual as far as he was concerned.

“I am going through the normal procedures of a review‚" Coetzee said.

"I will never predict the future because I can’t.

"But I will give my plan to SA Rugby and then they can determine whether there is growth and whether we are heading in the right direction.”

Coetzee‚ who has overseen seven wins‚ two draws and four losses this season‚ insisted that the Boks have improved gradually this year and he was happy with what they have been able to achieve.

“I firmly believe that we are heading in the right direction‚" he said.

"This team has improved from last year.

"This team has been fitter‚ stronger and they last longer.

"This team has had minimal injuries this season which shows the hard work that has been done by the medical and conditioning staff.

"This team can adapt to situations on the field and one must not forget that this year we lost Warren Whiteley as our captain and Eben Etzebeth had to stand in.

"There are leaders who have developed around Eben‚ like Siya Kolisi‚ Elton Jantjies‚ Francois Louw and from that perspective we are also better off.”

Coetzee has been accused of not playing enough black African players‚ but he defended his team selections on Monday.

“Lukhanyo Am was unfortunately injured most of the year‚" he said.

"Beast Mtawarira was out with an injury and it is not like I am sitting with these players for six months.

"I am not window dressing.

“There are positions in this team that may not be world class at the moment but they will definitely develop with time.

"With all the selections‚ I have agreed in my contract to a transformation plan that I must abide by and is accepted by SA rugby and the government.

"With all these challenges‚ there will be mistakes here and there but I understand exactly what is going on and I am looking at the bigger picture.

“Hindsight is the perfect science and every time I make a selection‚ I make sure that it is the best for the Springboks team and for the plan that we have.

"I had to give Warrick Gelant the opportunity and the try he scored with his blistering pace is a benefit for the team.

"There was also Dan du Preez - it is great that they have come through and I would have loved to see more of Lukhanyo AM.”