South African Meyer appointed Stade Francais coach


Paris (AFP)

Top 14 strugglers Stade Francais announced on Tuesday the appointment of former Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer as their sports director from next season.

Meyer has been out of work since guiding South Africa to a third-place finish at the 2015 World Cup in England.

Stade Francais have been looking for a head coach since New Zealander Greg Cooper left the job in January.

The Parisians are in the middle of a remarkable slump in form after six defeats in their last seven games that has seen them drop to 12th in the Top 14 and just two points above the relegation zone.

Their squad includes four former Springboks in fly-half Morne Steyn, props Heinke van der Merwe and Gurthro Steenkamp and loose forward Willem Alberts.

Meyer, 50, was in charge of 48 Tests with the Springboks between 2012 and 2015, winning 32 of those.

But amongst his 14 defeats was a humiliating World Cup group-stage loss to Japan.

He previously guided Northern Bulls to three Super Rugby titles in four seasons and also coached Leicester Tigers in England.

Following South Africa's World Cup showing, Meyer had been expected to sign a contract extension but talks were shelved.

It is widely believed that a sticking point was the racial transformation of a team that SA Rugby and the government have agreed should be half black at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Meyer had faced constant public and media criticism for choosing predominantly white sides in a country where less than 10 percent of the population is white.