When you coach the Springboks, there is always a gun to your head - Coetzee

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Coaches of the South African national rugby team always work with a gun to their head, according current incumbent Allister Coetzee.

Coetzee clung on to his job at the end of 2016 - a dismal year for the Springboks in which they lost eight of 12 Tests - including a first against Italy.

The 53-year-old signed a new deal that will see him through to the 2019 Rugby World Cup but knows the need for immediate improvements if he is to see out that contract.

"When you coach the Boks, there is always a gun to your head," he is quoted as saying by IOL. "You simply have to perform, you have to win.

"What I have learnt from last year is that, in Test rugby, winning is everything, no matter the opposition. It's not about entertainment... the only game plan is to play winning rugby.

"I can tell the South African public that whenever the Boks run out, they can be sure the players will leave nothing out there. They will give it their all, they will show they respect the jersey, that they'll do it for their country."

The Springboks take on France in a three-Test series in June, with 41 players gathering for a training camp in Johannesburg this week.

"The big thing here, to start with an assessment camp like this one, is to make sure all the players understand where we are going, what the strategy is, what the plan is," added Coetzee.

"The planning has been done until 2019 and even 2023... there is a long-term view, with this just being the start.

"What we want is to build continuity in terms of player conditioning, putting fundamental skills in place and being mentally strong to win Test matches. This camp is the start of the process."