Bok circus gets even funnier

Three failed Springbok coaches, two of whom’s tenure involved racist scandals, have been summoned to advise Jake White.

Nick Mallett, the fourth former Bok coach asked to meet with Jake, has dismissed the meeting as a futile exercise. And the architect of this brainwave, SARU president Regan Hoskins, felt it would be more beneficial to invite failed Bok coaches than the current five Super 14 coaches, who work with the players six months of the year at a minimum and are in touch with the demands of the modern game.

What inspiring and stirring decision-making.

Hoskins announced that Andre Markgraaff, with two wins in seven against the leading nations, Carel du Plessis, with two wins in seven against the leading nations and Rudolf Straeuli, with just two wins in 12 against the world’s leading teams, will now be tasked with the responsibility of offering advice to White, who has won seven from 18 and picked more black players on Saturday than Du Plessis and Markgraaff did in their entire tenure.

Markgraaff was kicked out of South African rugby for racist remarks in 1997 and Straeuli’s Bok coaching career will forever be remembered for the infamous Kamp Staaldraad and the racial incident involving Geo Cronje and Quinton Davids, not to mention the 53-3 defeat to England, the 52-16 defeat to the All Blacks, the 21-6 defeat to Scotland and the 20-point World Cup quarter-final exit.

In what is even a bigger joke Eric Sauls, head coach of the successful 1999 SA under 21 World Champion team, has also been invited to point White in the right direction.

Sauls, for the last five years, has been unable to command a regular coaching job at senior level. He is said to represent the previously disadvantaged.

White will also undergo a performance review at the completion of the Tri Nations. It is believed his performance clause stipulates that he has to win a minimum of 50 percent of his matches against the big four. Currently, White has won seven from 18, which translates to 38 percent.

As SARU’s administration bumbles from one committee meeting to another (my god calling in the likes of Markgraaff and Straeuli must rank as an all time low), it is estimated that SARU just cannot afford to payout White.

If the coach is given the sack, he must be paid R2million for next year. In addition, his support team would also have to be paid and this would be a collective figure closer to R3million. On top of this, of the 24 contracted players, the new coach would probably not use at least half the squad. That means wasted payment, which amounts to an estimated R10 million.

Players would have to be paid in place of that, at a similar fee, and there is the new coach’s salary plus his assistant’s salaries. You would be looking at R30 million in total to change now. And that is why SARU’s head honchos will explore every avenue to minimise the payout.

White’s overall performance clause is said to include transformation and winning as his two priorities, but that the selecting of more black players gives him more points than actually winning regularly against the best teams.

White, according to SARU president Regan Hoskins, has welcomed the meeting with Markgraaff, Straeuli, Du Plessis and company. Which pretty much says it all about the current state of the game.

*The only two not invited were Doc Craven and Kitch Christie. And had they still been alive, they would have been wheeled in to offer an opinion and then wheeled out. What an absolute bloody farce.

** Give Jake two decent selectors who aren’t yes men and just maybe we will already see a change.

*** And please appoint a committee to assist Hoskins and the provincial presidents with their decision-making, as well as appoint a committee to assist John Prinsloo, as the Managing Director, of SA Rugby Pty Ltd. The public emphasis is on White because he coaches the Boks. There should be an even greater emphasis on those guys running SA rugby.