Heyneke under colossal pressure

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has a uniquely South African headache as he sits down to pencil in the names for the first national training squad he is due to announce within the next few days.

Simply put, Meyer has to strike a balance between players who have stood out in Super Rugby, silencing the critics who see his sides as being too white, and finding space for some of the top talents playing abroad.

It is a balancing act, where Meyer has to push all the buttons of diplomacy to assuage the outpourings on quota-driven sport from the government and the reality that throwing together a side which will please everyone will more than likely fail to produce the winning combination South Africa’s rugby public demand almost as a right.

And without the financial muscle to match the deep pockets of the clubs in Europe and Japan, Meyer will have to call up some of the expat players, a move that has officially been frowned on – though tacitly accepted – by this country’s rugby authorities.

With all those pressures on him, it is no wonder the patriotic and passionate Meyer tends to lose it at times.

today in print

today in print