'Losing to Japan will haunt Meyer'

Corne Krige said Meyer’s tenure as coach will be tainted by the infamous loss to Japan at the World Cup.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer speaks to the media after his team beat Wales in the RWC quarterfinal at Twickenham. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former Springbok captain Corne Krige said Heyneke Meyer's tenure as coach will be tainted by the infamous loss to Japan in the opening match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The South African Rugby Union (Saru) confirmed yesterday that Meyer has withdrawn from the running to be coach of the national team after his contract expires at the end of this month.

Meyer's job has been under spotlight throughout the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Meyer led the Springboks to third place at the Rugby World Cup.

Former Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has been touted as a favourite to succeed him.

Krige said he understands the pressures of the job.

"I think his tenure will probably be known for the loss against Japan in the World Cup and the one thing that doesn't make him is a bad coach, he's a good coach and he's a great guy.

"As I said, I feel very sorry for him. I've been in similar position as Springbok captain, resigned in difficult circumstances and stepped down."

With the side having lost experienced players after finishing third at the recent Rugby World Cup, the sport in South Africa faces a future where transformation of the team will be higher up the agenda.

The job is the most complex and politically charged in world rugby and that may well put off a number of prospective applicants who do not share the vision of Saru.


It seems unlikely Saru will make history and look at a non-South African, though a poll on leading South African internet portal Sport24 saw 58 percent of respondents suggest Saru should look to a New Zealander with John Plumtree and John Mitchell both having worked extensively in the country.

Each of South Africa's 14 provincial unions has two votes to put towards who should be the next Bok coach, with Saru president Oregan Hoskins having a deciding 29th vote if needed.

Saru's General Council is scheduled to meet on 11 December to discuss the candidates, though it is unclear if a vote will be taken then.