Heyneke Meyer appointed Leicester coach

South Africa’s Heyneke Meyer has been appointed the new head coach of English Premiership rugby club Leicester, the club confirmed on Monday.

Meyer (40) has signed a three-year deal with the Tigers to replace Argentinian Marcello Loffreda and will begin work at Welford Road before the new Premiership season gets under way.

He said: “I have always thought that if I want to get back into rugby it must be with one of the best clubs in the world, and I truly believe Leicester Tigers are one of the best clubs in world rugby.”

Meyer previously coached Blue Bulls in South Africa, winning numerous titles, and had been strongly linked with the Springboks’ head coach position before missing out to Peter de Villiers earlier this year.

“I have a lot of respect for what the club has achieved in the past and I have been impressed with everybody I have met from the club,” Meyer said.

“I know there are a lot of competitive clubs in the Guinness Premiership and I am looking forward to the challenge with Leicester Tigers.

“I am humbled that a club like Leicester Tigers has considered me alongside the other candidates for the job of head coach and I am very thankful that they have appointed me.

“Now I am looking forward to getting started.”

Tigers chairperson Peter Tom said: “We believe Heyneke is the outstanding candidate for a job that attracted a massive amount of interest from coaches all over the rugby world.

“He has a superb record in South Africa, and we were very impressed by his levels of professionalism, preparation and enthusiasm when he spoke to us.

“Heyneke has dealt with top-quality international players in his time with the Bulls and in working with the South Africa national squad. He has also developed players from within the ranks at his previous clubs and he has an impressive record of success in a very competitive environment.

“We believe he is the man to take Leicester Tigers forward in a crucial time for this club.”

Loffreda was axed earlier this month after one year at the helm, as despite reaching the English Premiership final, the club did not win silverware.—AFP

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