No decision on South Africa coach Meyer's future yet-SARU

By: 
Reuters

THERE has been no decision on Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer's future, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) said on Monday following reports that he has signed a new four-year deal through to the next Rugby World Cup.

Local media have said that Meyer signed a new contract worth 5 million rand (US$363,372) a year, excluding performance-related bonuses, before the start of the World Cup.

But SARU said in a media statement that only the organisation’s General Council could approve a new deal for the coach and they will not meet until Dec. 4.

“The Executive Council has the power to appoint management and coaching staff with the exception of the position of the Springbok coach, which is ultimately decided by the General Council of SARU,” CEO Jurie Roux said.

“That body meets on Dec. 4 when the position of the Springbok coach for 2016 will be on the agenda.

"Once all affected individuals have been notified of any decisions a public announcement will be made, which is not expected before Dec. 5.

“We realise the great public interest in the subject and this is easily one of the most important decisions we take as an organisation. Supporters will understand therefore that we have many factors to consider before any announcements can be made.

“Those deliberations cannot take place in public out of respect for individuals and our governance structures.”

Meyer has said he would like to stay on as coach despite some major setbacks in 2015.

The 48-year-old led South Africa to a bronze medal at the World Cup in England but not before the Springboks suffered a shock 34-32 loss to Japan in their opening pool match.

That followed a first ever loss to Argentina, suffered at home in Durban, in the Rugby Championship in August, plus defeats by Australia and New Zealand as South Africa picked up the wooden spoon.

Meyer has also come under fire from protesters and politicians over a perceived lack of racial transformation in the national team.

Critics pointed to the minority of nine non-white players in the 31-man World Cup squad as evidence SARU has dragged its heels on transformation in the sport.

The Springboks’ next assignment is a three-Test series against Ireland in South Africa in June 2016.

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