PRETORIA – At Loftus Versfeld he is regarded as the Messiah, but former Bulls and Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has ruled out returning in any coaching capacity to help out the ailing Bulls team even though he is open to assisting in an advisory role.
Beleaguered Bulls coach Nollis Marais has already tapped into the experience of Meyer in a desperate effort to help turn around the fortunes of his team in this year’s Super Rugby competition.
In his previous life as Bulls coach, Meyer went through a similar patch as Marais is currently experiencing and after having been fired in 2002 and reinstated two years later.
Meyer built a formidable Bulls unit that went on to become the first and only South African side to win Super Rugby in the professional era in 2007.
While Meyer revealed that he has been speaking to Marais and offering him words of encouragement and wisdom in the aftermath of the Bulls record home defeat against the Crusaders, he will not be returning to Loftus but believes that the current crop of players can emulate what his 2007 championship winning side did in the next coming years.
At the same time Meyer says he is open to helping out any team in South Africa and even though he is involved with some consultancy work with a team abroad, he remains committed to assisting teams in the country.
“I really enjoy what I’m doing now and I will always be available to help wherever I can. I believe that ex national team coaches have learnt so much and when they are at their best they get moved sideways. There was a perception that I am in the rugby wilderness but I’m getting opportunities all over the world at the moment but I really want to stay in South Africa.
"Everybody is leaving South Africa and taking our intellectual property out so wherever I can make a difference I will. If it is advice or help I am more than willing and I truly believe I can make a difference,” said Meyer at the launch of the Beachcomber World Club 10’s tournament which takes place in Mauritius on 17-18 June.
“I’ve given Nollis some advice but it is not easy because you have to be involved and give proper advice at any level. I’ve spoken to Allister (Coetzee) as well and I want the Boks and every South African team to do well.”
Meyer, who coached the Springboks to a semi-final exit and third place finish at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, says the system in the country needs to be fixed in order for South African coaches to thrive who he believes are as competent as their sort after New Zealand counterparts.
Meyer believes that the likes of former Springbok World Cup winning coach Jake White, former Bok coach Peter de Villiers, former Cheetahs and Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus and former Sharks coach John Plumtree have all proven to be competent coaches and South African rugby shouldn’t be caught up in the hype of wanting to court New Zealand coaches.
“We just always want to look at New Zealand coaches. If you look at Rassie, Jake and most of those coaches going overseas they are really successful. John Plumtree was never considered a great coach here but now he goes to New Zealand and wins Super Rugby. What has changed? It is not the coach that has changed, it’s the system and I’ve always had a problem with the system. If we don’t change the system then we are not going to go anywhere. There’s no one coach good enough to come in for four or five weeks and think you are going to change it and win,” Meyer said.