Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer says he knows what it takes to be the best rugby team in the world and would like to have the opportunity to take the team to that level.
Meyer was speaking during a press conference at OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning after a few members of the touring party's arrival from London.
The Boks finished the World Cup in third position after beating Argentina 24-13 in last Friday’s Bronze Final.
Meyer has copped heavy criticism in recent times for opting for a conservative game plan, with many pundits calling for his head.
At Tuesday’s press-conference, an emotional Meyer made it clear that he has no intention to call it a day as Bok mentor.
“I want to be part of the solution. I love my country, I want to coach South Africa. I'm very proud of the boys, especially the youngsters for the way they came through,” he said.
“I’m excited about this team. I’m loyal to South Africa and I want to stay in South Africa. More and more of our people leave South Africa and they go and coach in other countries and they get quite good salaries for that as well.
“But I’ve said from day one that I want to keep my head high if I’m finished. I want to keep my integrity intact and I’m here to serve. I really want to make a difference in our country.”
Meyer may have been heavily criticised by rugby pundits but he feels the overwhelming majority of support has been positive after the team overcame a shock first round defeat to Japan to progress to the semi-finals.
“There’s always negativity, but the positive thing for me is that the people have been amazing wherever we have gone, everybody's proud of us, probably 80% plus..."
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Monday announced that the positions of the Springbok coaching and management team for the 2016 season and beyond will be reviewed by the Executive Council (Exco) of SARU in December.
However, recent media reports have indicated that Meyer’s contract will be extended until the 2019 World Cup in Japan and the coach firmly believes he is the right man to take the team forward.
“I’m there to serve. I know what it takes to win, I know what it takes to be the best in the world, but you have to get the systems in place.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in SA Rugby as well. They know what they’re doing and they are on the right track. I really think things will be better next year, especially for the national side.
“I’ll write a full report, but for me it’s just about being involved and making a difference in people’s lives... and like I said (I want to) be part of the solution.”