Heyneke Meyer has resigned as head coach of the Leicester Tigers, just six months into his three-year contract.
Meyer returned to South Africa at the end of December in order to be with his wife and her ill parents. Forwards coach Richard Cockerill has been directing the Tigers in Meyer’s absence and will now officially become their head coach.
“It is with deep regret that we accept Heyneke’s resignation because he has an outstanding record of achievement in his career, everyone was very supportive of him here and we could all sense success with him as head coach,” Tigers chairman Peter Tom told the club’s website. “But Heyneke found himself in a very difficult situation and we fully understand the reasons for his decision to remain in South Africa.”
Meyer said he was disappointed to leave the club, who are currently fifth in the English Premiership and in the quarter-finals of the European Cup.
“This has been a very difficult decision for me to make, in difficult circumstances, but I hope everyone can understand my reasons,” he said. “Leicester Tigers is a very special rugby club and I accepted the job there because I felt it was equipped to go on to greater success.
“I enjoyed my time living and working in England. The board, the staff, Martin Corry and the players, and the supporters have been fantastic towards me and my family during my time at Leicester and also during the time I have spent back in South Africa.”