Plans to reverse Springboks' fortunes outlined by South Africa chiefs

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has outlined plans for a review of the Springboks' dramatic downturn in form following what it described as a "profoundly disappointing" season for the national team.

SARU intends to "overhaul" its governance structures at the end of a year that has seen the Springboks win just four of 13 matches.

Coach Allister Coetzee has come under intense pressure during that run, but the national governing body has vowed not to make any "knee-jerk decisions".

In a frank statement released following a 27-13 defeat to Wales, president Mark Alexander said: "It has been a profoundly disappointing season in terms of results and we are acutely aware that we have failed to live up to the Springboks' proud heritage.

"We have collectively let down our supporters, our commercial partners and our broadcast partner, SuperSport. I would like to apologise to all our stakeholders for the disappointments we have all suffered this season.

"We are all feeling very raw and let down and it would be easy to make knee-jerk decisions. But we must resist that.

"For instance, our playing fortunes have been declining since the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour of 2014 - despite a fine fightback to win a bronze medal at the Rugby World Cup - and we must coolly and coldly analyse what have been the main factors contributing to those results before determining what remedies are at our disposal to solve them.

"We will start by speaking to the coach and other team role players for their assessment and to provide our feedback. We will take feedback from forthcoming indabas and we must critically review our selection policy relating to overseas-based players. 

"We've seen an unusually high number of injuries to key players this year, and we've lost many experienced Test players to overseas clubs, both of which have had major repercussions for the Springboks. We have to find ways to manage these challenges.

"But I can assure our supporters and stakeholders that if tough decisions have to be made we will not shy away from making them."

Among the changes being proposed is the creation of an advisory board consisting of "eminent individuals from business and civic society" to act as a "sounding board" for SARU, while the position of vice-president will also be terminated at the end of the current term.

Selection policies surrounding players at overseas clubs are also up for review.

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