It is no longer much of a secret. Heyneke Meyer is set to be unveiled as the next Springbok coach on Friday.
The contenders for the vacant position all fell by the wayside in recent weeks.
And yes, it is a 'vacant' post - as Peter de Villiers was never going to be re-employed, even though SARU said he would be on the roster as the incumbent.
A SARU shortlist of "preferred candidates" containing the names of Meyer, De Villiers, Allister Coetzee and Gert Smal was drastically reduced ... till only one name remained.
It is Meyer, who was a late starter after SARU only managed to track him down earlier this month.
De Villiers was always a non-starter, even though SARU Chief Executive Jurie Roux had a courtesy meeting with the man who beat off Meyer’s challenge in such controversial fashion four years ago.
Coetzee, despite his public proclamations to the contrary, remained on SARU's wish list for some time and then dropped out early in the new year.
Then last week Smal got the phone call to let him know that he was no longer a front runner.
This website can now reveal that the reason that Meyer won the race is because his backroom staff is most attractive to SARU.
And, according to our sources, this is whom Meyer has lined up:
1. John McFarland:
The English-born defence coach and former London Irish head coach helped Meyer and the Blue Bulls win four Currie Cup titles and become the first South African side to win three Super Rugby titles. Rated as “the best defensive coach in the world game” by his bosses in Pretoria, McFarland has spent 10 years working with the Bulls. He is set to work as a kicking coach at the Boks.
2. Jacques Nienaber:
The defence coach of the Stormers, who was responsible for making the Cape franchise the best defensive unit in the 2010 and 2011 seasons, joined up with the Boks at the World Cup last year - where the Boks' defensive record was second best in the pool stages, conceding just two tries (one each against Wales and Samoa), and another in the quarterfinal loss to Australia. He will be in charge of defence.
3. Rassie Erasmus:
Regarded as one of the most astute analysts of the game, Erasmus resigned from his role as 'Senior Professional Coach' at Western Province/Stormers. Although he was also linked to Nick Mallet and the England job, he has since emerged as the leading candidate to be a full-time Technical Director/analyst on Meyer's panel - similar to the role he played for both Jake White (2007) and Pieter De Villiers (2011) at the World Cup.
4. Paul Treu:
He made a seamless transition from being captain of the South African Sevens team the one season and coaching them the next! After a patchy start, Treu has developed into one of the best attacking masterminds in the abbreviated version of the game - taking the BlitzBokke to the IRB World Series crown in 2008/09. He has also managed to develop and nurture players through his Sevens structures. Treu’s visionary dedication has earned him a spot as the Bok backline coach.
5. Basil Carzis:
He was courted by Peter de Villiers ahead of last year's World Cup, but the fitness and conditioning expert looks set to follow Meyer to the Test arena after being part of their three successful Super Rugby campaigns and also winning four Currie Cup titles with the Bulls.
By Jan de Koning
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