Brenden Nel - SuperSport
Johannesburg - Heyneke Meyer is one of the most astute coaches in world rugby today, and the Springboks could only benefit by having him as their coach for the next few years.
This is the view of ex-Springbok winger Ricardo Loubscher, who knows Meyer better than many in rugby circles and believes he has what it takes to be a success at international level.
Loubscher played under Meyer for the Bulls several years ago, and has for the past seven years served an apprenticeship at the Bulls where he has been backline coach for the Bulls junior teams and Tuks in the Varsity Cup.
One of the criticisms against Meyer has been that he hasn’t coached for a few years, but Loubscher, who served alongside the Bulls Director of coaching in helping Tuks reach their first Varsity Cup final believes he has lost none of his magic.
“In my experience he is one of the most strategically minded coaches that you get,” Loubscher told SuperSport.com. “He surrounds himself just with the best in the business and he leads by letting you know that if you are around him, you have his backing 100% and expects the same back.
“I worked with him at the Varsity Cup a year back and he was exceptional. He can only be an asset to the system and has a wealth of experience to utilise in the position. “
Meyer is the favourite to be named Springbok coach on Friday when the South African Rugby Union convene to amend the appointment. His track record of becoming the first South African coach to win a Super Rugby title, as well as four Currie Cup and one Vodacom Cup title speaks volumes for his experience.
Loubscher doesn’t see too many underhanded deals this time round. In 2008, Meyer was expected to take the job, and was even promised before the meeting he had the position, but SARU decided on Peter de Villiers, who was, according to president Oregan Hoskins at the time, not the best candidate.
“If he is the best man for the job, then he will get the job. But that he is a quality coach is unmistaken. His record speaks for itself with all the titles he has won,” Loubscher said.
“I played under him as a player and worked with him as a coach and it was a privilege. He knows how to build teams and to take them to the next level and to get them to perform, and that’s what we need at the Springboks.”
Meyer was appointed last year as the Bulls Director of coaching to help rebuild the Bulls after the departure of several Springbok stars.