Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has revealed that his All Blacks counterpart Steve Hansen helped lift him from the gloom of the shock loss to Japan by sending him a supportive text message.
Meyer endured the most difficult week of his coaching career after Japan humbled the two-time World Cup champions last week in their opening pool match.
But he was surprised to receive a message of support from Hansen in a private text exchange between the pair with Meyer claiming it had helped him immeasurably to cope with the pressure.
Meyer admitted he had not slept for three nights in the days that followed the loss.
He wouldn't reveal exactly what the text message said but added: "Steve is a quality man, as are most of the coaches. We all know we are under pressure. We know only one coach will win it and the rest will be under pressure in their countries. Steve is a great man and it just shows his character
"In one stage in professionalism we moved away from that and we've really tried to bring the ethos back to the game. If people like the All Blacks can still support us and their rugby coaches - while we will always try and kill each other on the field - it shows."
Hansen is possibly the one coach who can relate to the pressure Meyer was under given rugby's stature in South Africa.
London's Daily Telegraph described Hansen's gesture as 'a lovely act of sportsmanship and one that should be applauded'.
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