Heyneke Meyer has been announced as the Bulls’ director of rugby.
His official title is Executive: Rugby Coaching, and the role, detailed in a press release from the Bulls, entails the following:
High Performance - Manage and co-ordinate all coaching structures and services required to support the development of the game covering all the Blue Bulls’ professional and amateur teams including the clusters and clubs. He will also manage and co-ordinate other relevant aspects such as development, sports science/medicine, and related support services.
Game development - To support cluster and club coaches.
Training & Education - To present various specialised courses and clinics for coaches and referees.
Meyer, who was the head coach of the Bulls for eight years before his acrimonious split from the franchise in late 2007, could also be closely involved in team strategy, tactics and player recruitment.
Current head coach Frans Ludeke will continue to be in control of day-to-day playing issues and man-management and he will be responsible for daily training and preparation
Under Meyer the Bulls won four Currie Cup titles (one shared) and became the first South African franchise to win the Super 14, in 2007.
He went on to coach the Leicester Tigers in the Premiership before returning to South Africa to be with ailing family members. Most recently he was linked to director of rugby role with the Lions, but the Johannesburg franchise opted for Dick Muir instead, citing Meyer’s hefty asking price as a primary reason for their choice.
Meyer’s return is a massive coup for the Bulls. He is credited with assembling the core of the formidable squad they now boast, and also established the playing structures around which the Bulls’ approach is still based. He is immensely respected by the players, and will offer Ludeke an excellent sounding board for ideas. His keen eye for young talent will also be beneficial to the Pretoria union.