Rugby: Meyer steps in as new Springboks coach

Heyneke Meyer. Photo / Getty Images
Heyneke Meyer. Photo / Getty Images

The South African Rugby Union has announced the new national coach will be Heyneke Meyer, a 44-year-old who guided Northern Bulls to one Super 14 and four Currie Cup titles.

He succeeds Peter de Villiers as coach of the two-time World Cup champions, four years after surprisingly losing out to him for one of the most coveted posts in international rugby union.

Although Meyer never played the game at provincial level, he is by far the most successful South African coach of the past decade, turning the Pretoria-based Bulls into a national and international force.

His mission during a four-year contract will be to re-establish the green and gold as a global power after a 11-9 loss to Australia last October in the 2011 World Cup quarter-finals.

De Villiers was criticised by the public and media for hanging on to players clearly past their best like captain and hooker John Smit, who has since retired from the Test scene and moved to English club Saracens.

Veteran lock Victor Matfield also retired after the World Cup while centre Jaque Fourie and scrum-half Fourie du Preez have moved to Japan and prop Gurthro Steenkamp and lock Bakkies Botha to France.

- AFP

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