Bye-bye, Heyneke Meyer.
That’s the general feeling among the 29 voters who have to decide the future of the Springbok coach at a meeting of the SA Rugby Union (Saru) on December 11.
Saru will also have taken note of the fact that Allister Coetzee’s Japanese club, the Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers, will not stand in his way if he is chosen as Meyer’s successor.
The Lions will probably also not make it difficult for the other strong contender, Johan Ackermann.
But the build-up to the meeting is playing out like a political campaign behind the scenes and several of the unions’ votes could be swung at the last moment.
Each of the country’s 14 unions has two votes, with Oregan Hoskins as Saru president holding the 29th.
In an intriguing development behind the scenes recently, there was a meeting planned for only the presidents of the northern unions.
Then a meeting was called with all 14 union presidents. It’s unclear if these meetings did take place and who attended.
But Meyer’s future can even be decided by the winner of a battle between the southern and northern presidents.
Most of the southern presidents want his head to roll, while some northern presidents are still undecided about whether he should be fired and, if so, who his replacement should be.
While the general feeling seems to be that Meyer has had his chance and regeneration is needed, he can still be asked to coach the team for another year. This will apparently give Saru the opportunity to start the process of finding a suitable successor – there is even the possibility that a special committee could be appointed to drive the process.
A Saru spokesperson declined to answer all the questions posed to him by Rapport, City Press’ sister paper, regarding the exact process around determining Meyer’s future.
But he did say Saru’s executive committee would make a recommendation about Meyer’s fate, after which the general council would vote on it at the meeting.
Meyer’s contract expires at the end of the year and, even if it had been extended before the World Cup, as is understood to be the case, that does not guarantee he will keep his job.
It’s not only Meyer who is anxious about his career.
Only five of his World Cup management team of 20 members – Ian Schwartz (team manager), De Jongh Borchardt (media manager), Albe Visser (video analyst), JJ Fredericks (logistics manager) and Charles Wessels (operations manager) – are permanent employees of Saru, according to Rapport’s information.
The medical team of Craig Roberts (team doctor), Vivian Verwant, Rene Naylor (both physiotherapists) and Daliah Hurwitz (massage therapist) has been kept on since the time of Peter de Villiers and could remain for longer if its members are available.
Saru will decide on this, and not Meyer or his successor.
The future of other management team members such as Annelee Murray (administrative and client services manager) will depend on their individual contracts with Saru.
Murray is not a permanent employee, but her contract is not dependent on the Springbok coach.