Rugby World Cup 2011

Heyneke won't apply - Matfield

2011-10-11 17:59
Victor Matfield (File)





Johannesburg - Legendary lock Victor Matfield says Blue Bulls rugby head, Heyneke Meyer, won't apply for the position as new Springbok coach.

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Confusion reigned straight after the Boks' World Cup quarter-final loss to Australia on Sunday on whether incumbent head coach Peter de Villiers would still be in charge of the Springboks.

De Villiers, however, made it clear on Monday that he had not resigned as earlier reported, and was vague on his availability for the job once his contract expired at the end of the year.

"I don't know who is available, but I know someone like Heyneke [Meyer] will not apply because of his new role at the Bulls and I don't know if Rassie [Erasmus] will be interested," said Matfield, who retired as one of the highest capped Springboks of all time.

"I don't know if Peter is available, but I think he should probably get over the emotions first."

Matfield also said it is important for the SA Rugby Union (SARU) to fill the Springbok coaching position as soon as possible.

He said Western Province coach Allister Coetzee - who was assistant coach to former national coach Jake White when they won the 2007 World Cup in France - might also be knocking on the door for the position.

"Toetie [Coetzee] was a great coach when I was playing under him. He is also a wonderful person and probably a strong candidate," Matfield said.

"Maybe guys from overseas like [former Springbok coach] Nick Mallett will also be interested."

Pundits have already started speculating about De Villiers's possible replacement, with New Zealand-born coaches plying their trade in South Africa also receiving mentions.

Sharks coach John Plumtree and Lions mentor John Mitchell, who both hail from Hawera in Taranaki, New Zealand, were considered contenders for the job.

Matfield, however, felt that the Boks were not ready for a foreign coach and it would be a grave mistake if SARU went that route.

The 34-year-old said the remaining Springbok players had not yet received their contracts for next year, which he said caused a lot of uncertainty among the players.

"If SA Rugby can sort that out as soon as possible it would be great," he said.

"During the previous World Cup, we worried even before the start of the tournament, and there were about 10 guys who signed contracts for the new year.

"The funny thing is that no one even talked about it this year. I spoke to guys like Jean (De Villiers) and Schalk (Burger) and they said they had not signed anything yet."

 

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