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Meyer: Hail the 'special' one

2012-02-07 10:36

Gary Boshoff

All hail the "Special One!” He who has been “anointed” as the “saviour” of Springbok rugby! Heyneke Meyer, the new Springbok coach!

Well, at last the wishes of all those who have been lamenting the appointment of Peter de Villiers ahead of Meyer four years ago, have been granted and all will be well with the Springboks again.

Or will it?

The fact is we know all too well that the success of Springbok rugby is much more, no; way much more than he who coaches the team. Success of the Springboks comprises a complex mix of boardroom politics, provincialism, transformation, commercial sustainability/instability, politics and many smaller undercurrents which tend to influence the way the national team perform. 

Meyer’s success as Springbok coach will depend on how well he manages all these factors during his tenure as Springbok coach.

The former Blue Bulls coach’s appointment have been welcomed without exception and believe me, even I can’t find any fault with that. He is certainly the best we have available at the moment and he has demonstrated that he has the necessary rugby pedigree to coach the national team.

I was on the interview panel which interviewed Meyer for the vacant Blue Bulls coaching job way back in 2000, when Eugene van Wyk’s tenure at Loftus Versfeld came to an end. 

I recall how he distinguished himself through a highly professional presentation in which he demonstrated how effective and efficient management systems and processes are critical for accurate talent identification and player management in the rapidly evolving rugby environment of the time. 

He argued that these were “non-negotiables” for success in the modern version of the game.

I remember how he elaborated on the emotional needs of players and how the management of these was highlighted as a key success factor. 

He went on to articulate the importance of introducing the latest strength training techniques and advocated the appointment and use of specialized consultants for various aspects of the modern game. It was an easy appointment to make and it started the revival of the Blue Bulls after a disastrous three years in the doldrums.

The shear dominance of the Blue Bulls in the period 2002-2005 was a direct result of the revolutionary training and coaching regimen he introduced at the Blue Bulls. Meyer was at the forefront of the scientific and technical revolution in South African rugby, a pioneer of sorts in my view.

There can therefore be no question over his technical abilities as a coach, as well as his player management skills and his special ability to spot talented youngsters and mould them into professional rugby players.

Like the majority of journalists and pundits I welcome the appointment of Meyer as the new Springbok coach. He deserves the appointment. He is indeed “the special one” that can lead the Springboks into the promised land of world domination.

Notwithstanding this accolade, the jury is still out on whether he is indeed the “redeemer” many has been making him out to be. 

This accolade will unfortunately only be bestowed upon him when the Springboks produce the desired results on the field of play over the next four years.

While it will be difficult to measure up to Kitch Christie’s 100% win ratio, he will at least be expected to surpass that of Nick Mallett (71%), Jake White (66%) and Peter de Villiers (62%), if he is going to be recognised as the modern day “saviour” of Springbok rugby. 

We will have to wait until after the 2015 Rugby World Cup for the verdict!

Gary Boshoff is a former SARU player and current Afrikaans rugby commentator on SuperSport.

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Comments
  • Bulldozer - 2012-02-07 11:40

    He are the chosen one.

  • Sbuda - 2012-02-07 12:28

    Gary you just couldn't wait to kiss the man's behind!!!!!! Sure Meyer is a very good coach but for goodness sake he has not done anything glorious since winning the Super 14, which by the way the Sharks defence handed to him. That was five years ago and looking at the bulls last Currie Cup doesn't inpire that great deal of confidence. His record speaks for itself but you and your Pretoria brigade can't keep basking in it forever. Shut up and let him put up!!!!

      Doc - 2012-02-07 14:04

      Your ignorance is palpable, you forgot to mention that after being screwed by SARU he took a one year post with the Leicester Tiger where he coached them to the finals of the Heineken Cup. In 2011 he was advisor to Varsity Cup runners up Tuks, both of these achieved despite very short tenures in those positions. His position with the Bulls only came into effect last year and it was an executive spot that had more to do with long term planning on almost nothing with coaching. He is not only the best coach available in the country but probably also the world plus he has administrative skills as evidenced by his appointment at the Bulls. Excuse me while I pucker up.

  • jandreleroux - 2012-02-07 13:12

    The coach could be a one eyed Iranian who misses the Ayatollah Chomeini, for all I care as long as he was appointed on merit! And I believe Heyneke was! Go boys! Make the world Green and gold!

      Kosie - 2012-02-07 15:45

      and as long as he performs

  • Jeanine - 2012-02-07 15:45

    Gary, you my friend are an idiot! You pleaded for the dismissal of Jake White prior to the World Cup in 2007 and that he must be replaced by Peter de Villiers. What a disaster. Makes you think how wise is our sport writers!!!

      Jason - 2012-02-07 16:06

      ARE our sports writers!!!!

      Christoff - 2012-02-07 16:08

      Agree 100% Jeanine!!! 5 Years later and he is trying to make an "accurate" statement again!!

      Bulldozer - 2012-02-07 16:50

      I agree with Jay.

      Edward - 2012-02-08 14:29

      Jeanine, I agree 100% with you, Gary " can not make up my mind" Boshoff, has to be the worlds biggest p__p_l. I am perplexed by his insight.

  • Rassie - 2012-02-07 21:18

    Just give him a fair chance! I am sure he will deliver the goods!

  • Blip - 2012-02-07 21:30

    He failed to win 20 of his first 22 games at Super Rugby level and his Bulls team came stone last for 2 years in a row.

      Paul - 2012-02-07 22:52

      Yeah, I remember that period... there were strong rumours here in Pretoria that Heyneke was afraid to leave his house at one stage. He got death threats every day. The Bulls supporters were baying for his blood. Of course, Dozey & Co weren't born yet, else they would remember. The guy is just human and don't forget it.

      Bulldozer - 2012-02-08 00:15

      Paul, I was 4. I don't remember though.

      Willa - 2012-02-08 12:57

      And then Blip ?

  • michael.gillbee - 2012-02-08 00:11

    I believe Meyer is the Mourinho of rugby. Technically brilliant, tactically masterful and a true inspirer of men and a motivator no end. He is a strategist at the core and plans to sow now to reap a bit later. We can't expect bred if we don't plant wheat. I really believe - and hope the political and provincial meddlers - leave him be and let Meyer get on with it! However, whoever the coach is, I support the Springboks every day!

  • Pierre - 2012-02-21 14:58

    I hope the Meyer realizes that the Blue Bulls cannot win the Tri-Nations or the World Cup. I am afraid that playing for the Bulls now means automatic Springbok inclusion. But having said that the Super 16 dilemma can be averted by removing the Bulls and including the Southern Kings as the Bulls will now be the official Springbok team. And do not forget that the outcome of rugby games are rigged and the Bulls have had a lot of help from the South African referees along the way

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