Cape Town – Allister Coetzee has made it to the end of his first proper week in charge of the Springboks – Friday bringing the curtain down on a six-day training camp in Stellenbosch.
There will be a day or two for rest, but by Sunday afternoon the squad will have reassembled in Cape Town to continue preparations for June 11’s series opener against Ireland at Newlands.
The positivity surrounding the week in Stellenbosch was unmissable as a new era of Springbok rugby was welcomed.
The team-building aspect of the camp was a huge success and next week Coetzee will spend more time focusing on Ireland and the threats they pose.
For now, the coach is satisfied.
“I would describe it as a productive week. You want to make sure that you become a team as soon as possible. I think we achieved that objective in a massive way,” Coetzee told media on Friday.
“You want to make sure that the team coming together understands the culture… I am also happy with that area.
“There was a lot of energy this week, a lot of excitement and a lot of positivity and it was therefore a productive week.
“I’m happy with the finish today in terms of what we want to achieve tactically although there is still work to be done next week.
“In all, I’m very pleased and satisfied.”
Coetzee said he had not yet wrapped his head around team selection and that he would ponder that over the weekend.
The overseas-based trio of Duane Vermeulen, Francois Louw and Steven Kitshoff will arrive on Tuesday and that will also give Coetzee a selection-poser.
Those players have endured tough European season, and Coetzee says he will need to evaluate the state they arrive in.
“We always knew there would be time limitations (with the overseas-based players) therefore we are prepared for that,” said Coletzee.
“I’m pleased with the start… team selection is another thing.
“I will have to ascertain the level of the overseas players… mentally, where are they sitting.
“That is something I’ve learnt from Currie Cup and playoffs. When Springboks come back to your provinces the first thing is… is there a connection from where we are and what we’ve built up to how they see it and understand? We will have to have a good discussion on Monday and get the selection right.”
Coetzee is also hoping to make a decision by Tuesday as to which four players will join Johan Ackermann’s SA ‘A’ side in Bloemfontein ahead of their clash against the English Saxons on June 10.