De Villiers: Coetzee must take Springboks to another level


Jean de Villiers believes Allister Coetzee must evolve South Africa's style of play in order to take the Springboks to "another level".

Coetzee was confirmed as the new head coach of his country last week, more than four months after Heyneke Meyer stepped down from the role.

The former Western Province and Stormers coach served as an assistant to Jake White when the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup in 2007.

Ex-South Africa captain De Villiers retired from international rugby after suffering an injury during the World Cup in England last year.

De Villiers, the Springboks' most-capped centre, feels Coetzee must stamp his mark on the side in a new era after the disappointment of losing to champions New Zealand in the semi-final at Twickenham last October.

"It was not a success to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, we only deem winning it as being a success," the Leicester Tigers man told Omnisport.

"There was criticism over our style of play, so Allister has to come in and evolve the Boks' game.

"He has the challenge of taking the team to another level."

South Africa host Ireland in a three-match Test series in June and De Villiers expects Joe Schmidt's side to provide a stern examination at the start of Coetzee's reign.

"Ireland are a strong side, with some very talented players. I would certainly not expect it to be a comfortable series win for the Boks and it will be a good challenge," he added.