'Heyneke said no to Bok post'

2010-09-28 07:38
Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)
Pieter Jordaan

Johannesburg – Blue Bulls director of coaching Heyneke Meyer is believed to have said “no thanks” to a request to become the Springboks’ forwards coach.

The heads of Springbok assistant coaches Dick Muir and Gary Gold are believed to be on the chopping block, but the struggle to find appropriate replacements may well rescue them.

News that Meyer, who was pipped by Peter de Villiers to succeed Jake White as Bok coach, has said no to help coach the Boks follows revelations that Lions coach John Mitchell also did not agree to help the team.

When asked whether the Springbok coaches’ jobs were safe after Monday’s performance appraisal in Johannesburg, South African Rugby Union (SARU) president Oregan Hoskins simply said: “I’m not going to answer that, sorry.”

The absence of a ‘yes’ in the answer points to a number of changes in the offing for the Bok management team before the team head off on their Grand Slam tour in November.

De Villiers was the only member of the coaching staff that appeared in front of SARU’s technical committee at the OR Tambo Airport on Monday.

Indications are strong that De Villiers’s coaching staff will not all survive the evaluation.

There are strong rumours that top coaches in South Africa have been approached to get involved with the Boks.

The name of Western Province director of coaching Rassie Erasmus has also been mentioned in informed circles as a candidate for the position of SA under-20 coach, but he told Sport24 that he had not applied.

It was speculated in the media last week that the position of SA under-20 coach could be linked to that of a technical director at SARU.

“I’m contracted with WP until 2012. I have not applied,” said Erasmus.

De Villiers looked nervous as he waited in a black suit in front of the conferencing hall at OR Tambo Airport for the meeting to start.

He was greeted shortly afterwards by Hoskins, as well as SARU executive council chairperson Jan Marais, technical committee chairperson James Stoffberg, deputy president Mark Alexander and committee member Kevin de Klerk.

The meeting lasted for about three hours. Hoskins said afterwards that the findings of the review would not be made public.

“We are almost finished with our review. It was really advantageous. But we will treat the issue in confidence as it related to an employee. We are asking people to give us a chance to digest what happened here today,” said Hoskins.

When asked about possible changes to the coaching staff or the use of coaching consultants, he said that the committee would react when the time was right.


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