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Mallett calls for shake-up in South African rugby

Sunday, 09-Nov-2003 5:20PM PST
Story from AFP
Copyright 2003 by Agence France-Presse (via ClariNet)

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 9 (AFP) - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett has called for the mass resignation of South Africa's rugby chiefs following the national side's ignominious 29-9 quarter-final defeat by New Zealand in the World Cup.

Writing in the Johannesburg-based Sunday Times, Mallet said the game in Melbourne, Australia, was "not even a match, just a mugging".

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"There needs to be a mass resignation -- from the president, the vice-president and the managing director of SA Rugby down," he said. "These men have not been successful at any level."

The Springboks, he said, had gone from being the best team in the world in 1995, when they won the World Cup in Johannesburg, "to a rabble".

The South African press reported meanwhile that SA Rugby Managing Director Rian Oberholzer - in Melbourne - had thrown his weight behind embattled coach Rudolf Straueli, even though Straueli had repeatedly asked that he be judged on the Springbok's World Cup performance.

Oberholzer called for continuity and suggested the Cup might have come too soon for the Boks, the Sunday Times reported.

"We employed him (Straeuli) until 2005," Oberholzer said.

"We never said we appointed him to win the World Cup. We have a fantastic young team and continuity is the important thing. If only we had another year with this team we might have done better."