Springbok rugby coach and Alumnus Heyneke Meyer receives recognition

Posted on March 02, 2012

It is not the first time that this highly esteemed alumnus and one of the most successful local rugby coaches in the professional arena has been honoured by UP – the new Bok coach received the prestigious TuksAlumni Laureate Award in 2007 already when he was the coach of the very successful Super14 Bulls. Since then, he has had exceptional achievements during his coaching career. He is the only coach who trained winning teams in the Super14, Currie Cup as well as Vodacom Cup competitions.

He started his professional coaching career in 1997 as assistant coach of the SWD Eagles and subsequently became a well-known and acknowledged rugby coach at international level. He became head coach of the team and led the SWD Eagles to play in the semifinal of the Currie Cup for the first time in their 100-year history.

He was appointed assistant coach of the Springboks during the 1999 World Cup, and in 2000 became head coach of the Northern Bulls in the Super12. He was appointed head coach of the Bulls in 2005, and coached them to reach the semifinals in both 2005 and 2006 as well as to Super14 victory in 2007. The Bulls were the first South African team in history to win a Super12 or Super14 final and the first team to win three games on an Australasian tour. He served as Varsity Cup advisor for Tuks in 2011 and was appointed coach of the national rugby team (the Springboks) in January this year.

Meyer has never been hesitant to credit UP for the impact the University has had on his life and his career. He has fond memories of “unbelievable” people like Prof Daan Swiegers, Dr Dawie Marais and John Williams, all of whom he met at Tuks. “They taught me a lot and I learned a lot about the game and about myself. It was here, for instance, that I learnt to move key players to different positions,” he once said.

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