Cape Town - All Black coach Steve Hansen has revealed that his counterpart Heyneke Meyer phoned him before he decided to step down as Springbok coach.
Meyer on Thursday quit as Bok coach after four years at the helm of the national team.
Meyer and Hansen had become good friends after both took charge of their respective countries’ national teams in 2012.
In an interview with TVNZ, Hansen said South African rugby would be weaker without Meyer.
“We spoke last night actually, we talked about it. I think it’s the right thing for Heyneke (to do). He’s come under immense pressure from everything over in South Africa,” Hansen said on Thursday.
“It’s a sad day for South African rugby. They’ve not only lost a good coach but they’ve lost a great man too.”
When asked whether he gave Meyer any advice, Hansen responded:
“I just said he’s got to follow his heart, do what’s right for him and his family. He’d already made the decision, but just phoned me to have a chat.”
Hansen’s All Blacks beat the Springboks 20-18 in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals before going on to win the tournament.
During Meyer’s tenure, South Africa lost seven out of eight Tests against New Zealand, with only one victory.