Meyer puts coaching rumour mill into overdrive
It has suddenly left two of the most prominent coaching positions in South Africa vacant and speculation is spiraling out of control.
As rugby365 reported last week, Allister Coetzee is expected to be unveiled as the new Bok coach very soon – perhaps even in a matter of days.
The South African Rugby Union media briefing scheduled for Friday lunchtime may give an indication when the announcement will be made.
While Coetzee is the runaway leader in the race to replace Meyer, it is now his backroom staff that is responsible for most of the speculation.
Some 'experts' suggested SARU will offer him a team of strong assistant coaches that include Lions mentor Johan Ackermann and Cheetahs coach Franco Smith.
However, rugby365's information is that Coetzee is determined to restore the coaching team he had when he was in charge of the Stormers.
That means Robbie Fleck (mentioned as a candidate for the vacant Stormers coaching post) and Matthew Proudfoot will come into the Bok picture.
And the spin-off from that is that it will cost SARU about ZAR30-million to pay out Meyer and all the unwanted backroom staff that still have contracts with the national body.
And while on the subject, the Western Cape has been abuzz with talk of resistance against the impending appointment of John Mitchell as Stormers head coach.
Depending on which 'grapevine' you listen to, it is either the players, clubs or executive committee that have been most vocal in their objections to a New Zealander taking charge of the Newlands-based team.
The player objection rumour has been going the longest, with the most recent reports suggesting it is the "former Lions" in the Stormers squad driving this.
It has to be remembered Mitchell was once locked out of the dressing room by players when he was still at the Lions. That seems to give credence to those rumours.
However, rugby365 has it on good authority that the Western Province clubs – who famously once stopped a European Cup game from being staged in Cape Town – have started to raise their concerns in a manner that will make the Stormers brains trust sit up and take note.
There is some additional pressure coming from the Western Province Rugby Union's executive committee, possibly also driven by the clubs, that is causing some uneasiness.
However, WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd Director of Rugby Gert Smal is apparently standing firm in his belief that the 'no nonsense' approach of the New Zealander, Mitchell, is the best chance the Stormers have of breaking their Super Rugby trophy drought.
Interesting times in the Republic!
Jan de Koning