South African Meyer quits as Stade Francais coach

Paris (AFP) –


Former South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has resigned from his position in charge of the French Top 14's bottom side Stade Francais, the club announced on Tuesday.

Meyer, who led the Springboks at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, quit Stade after losing seven from the opening nine matches of the season with local reports saying he had been sacked after less than two years with the Parisian outfit.

"It has been an honour to coach the club. I have had a great life experience coaching Stade Francais and I have loved my time in Paris," Meyer, 52, said in statement.

"It has always been my intention to do what is best for this great club," he added.

The former Bulls boss was given the backing of Stade's billionaire owner Hans-Peter Wild last week before Sunday's defeat to rivals Racing 92.

Stade have a league-leading budget of 40 millions euros ($44 million) and came eighth under his remit last season.

Newspaper Midi Olympique reported Stade's former players in Julien Arias and Laurent Sempere will take over the 14-time French champions on a temporary basis ahead of this Friday's European Challenge Cup match against Brive.

The pair follow ex-Stade centre Thomas Lombard in being appointed in off-field positions at Stade Jean-Bouin, after he was named general manager earlier in October.

Meyer's assistants in ex-France prop Pieter de Villiers, South African Dewald Senekal, English defence coach John McFarland and Frenchman Ricardo Loubscher are also expected to leave.