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Meyer confirmed as DOR at Bulls (update)


The Bulls have briefed the media that there will be a media conference today where some strategic changes to its structures will be announced, one of which will be the expected announcement of Heyneke Meyer returning to the Bulls as Director of Rugby.

The media brief went out yesterday but rumours have been doing the rounds that Meyer who has been involved with rugby on-and-off in the recent past since he missed out on Bok coach appointment, will return to Loftus to take up the position of Director of Rugby.

A lot of the Bulls success in the last decade has been attributed to Meyer’s meticulous planning in the union which saw him become the first South African coach to steer the Bulls to a Super 14 crown in 2007.

Meyer and Ludeke, the current Bulls head coach is also said to be cut from the same cloth in their approach and philosophy to rugby where the latter will remain as head coach of the Bulls taking charge on the day-to-day management and coaching of players.

The appointment will fall in line with the move by the Stormers who also appointed Rassie Erasmus exclusively as Director of Rugby in the franchise which will give them more time to focus on the structures and continuity of the franchise and union with Allister Coetzee taking up the head coaching position.

With stalwarts like Victor, Bakkies, Fourie and some other players nearing the end of their careers the focus of Meyer will be to ensure the correct structures are in place for youngsters to succeed the older players who played such a vital role in the success of the union.


Heyneke Meyer has been confirmed as Director of Rugby at the Bulls.  Frans Ludeke will continue as head coach for the union and Super franchise and will be in charge of the day to day running and management of the team.

Official press release:

The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd has secured the services of Heyneke Meyer by appointing him as the Executive: Rugby Coaching at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday afternoon.

As the Executive: Rugby Coaching, Meyer will be responsible to manage the following in the following departments:

· High Performance: Manage and co-ordinate all coaching structures and services required to support the development of the game covering all the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ professional and amateur teams including the clusters and clubs. He will also manage and co-ordinate other relevant aspects such as development, sports science/medicine, and related support services.

· Game development: To support cluster and club coaches.

· Training & Education: To present various specialised courses and clinics for coaches and referees.

Meyer, who has led the Blue Bulls to four Currie Cup titles as well as Super 14 glory, is also responsible to enhance and maintain the existing structures which he initiated in 2000.

In addition to this, the High Performance Manager, Ian Schwartz, may also approach him from time to time to assist with talent Identification and recruitment as well as putting into place succession plans for all players and coaches in consultation with the head coach Frans Ludeke.

Meyer (Executive: Rugby Coaching), Ludeke (Head coach Super 14 & Currie Cup) and Schwartz (High Performance Manager) will all report to the CEO, Barend van Graan.

It is interesting to note that Meyer, Schwartz and Ludeke were working together at the SWD Eagles in 1999 when they reached the semi-finals of the Currie Cup and it is a great prospect that they have reunited in order to keep the Bulls at the pinnacle of world sport. They compliment and trust each other and their main goal will be to ensure that the Bulls will be able to repeat in the future what they have done in 2009.

Owing to his vast experience as a top professional coach the highly creative and ingenious Meyer will serve as a soundboard for all Blue Bulls coaches by providing advice and support and he will be responsible to equip all Blue Bulls coaches with new (up to date) information and trends in the game. With this in mind the coaches of the Vodacom Cup, Under 21 and Under 19 teams will report to Meyer.

As the Executive: Rugby Coaching Meyer is a member the Blue Bulls Company Strategic Committee and all other applicable Blue Bulls Company and BBRU structures and forums i.e. Rugby Coordinating Committee.

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  1. Heyneke Meyer knows his stuFF

    when he is suPPorted by a Union that trusts him AND the day to day streSS of working with a team of people, are picked up by somebody he trusts….

    almost as gOOde as it gets.

  2. Reply to Bunny @ 10:29 am: No he’s not

    The best kept secret of the Bulls is not Heyneke and Frans coaching…

    The best kept secret is a short oke with dirty blonde hair who looks like he just crawled out from under a Mazda Rotary on blocks in danville on a saturday afternoon called Ian Schwartz…

    Schwartz is the genius who keeps right on spotting the talent year after year after year for the Bulls.

    You watch him..

    At every Craven Week and at every Varsity Cup nmatcha nd club match and even at the big School derbies…

    If you look close enough and search the crowd you are sure to spot Ian doing his thing…

    And then the Bulls get another Victor Matfield
    Another Bandisa Maku
    Another Wynand Olivier
    Another Ndungane

    Then of course his end of season prowls are infamous

    Ask Bryan Habana
    Guthro Steenkamp
    Zane Kirchner

  3. From what I’ve heard, you don’t need to be genius to recruit players from the Cape.
    WP automatically rejects all potential match winners.

  4. Were there press releases by WP and the Lions about the roles for their DORs?

    Would be interesting to compare.

  5. WP Senior Professional Coach, Rassie Erasmus, today released the 2010 Vodacom Stormers Management team.

    The structure sees the successful WP management team utilised in the 2009 Absa Currie Cup retained for the 2010 Vodacom Super 14 season, with Allister Coetzee continuing as Head Coach, Robbie Fleck as Backline Coach and Matthew Proudfoot as Forwards Coach.

    Erasmus continues to fulfill the role of a “hands on” Senior Professional Coach, responsible for team strategy, tactics and player recruitment. Focus will be long term and global, ensuring positive momentum, culture and structures are retained at all levels in WP. Erasmus will remain “hands on” from a senior team coaching viewpoint and remains responsible for team tactics and game plans.

    Allister Coetzee’s role will continue to be control of day-to-day playing issues and man-management, for the senior professional team. Coetzee will be responsible for daily training and preparing the team for play, with the approval of Erasmus.

    The new structure was used during the 2009 Currie Cup campaign, is based on the model successfully utilized in most Premiership football sides and has been approved by WP Rugby, Boland Rugby and the Stormers Governing Body.

    The balance of the management structure is:

    Management Position


    Senior Professional Coach

    Rassie Erasmus

    Head Coach

    Allister Coetzee

    Backline Coach

    Robbie Fleck

    Forwards Coach

    Matthew Proudfoot

    Defence Coach

    Jacques Nienaber


    Chippie Solomon


    Ryan Kohler


    Lize van Schalkwyk


    Greg Daniels


    Stephan Du Toit

    Greg Hechter

  6. Not as detailed as actual specific role, but pretty similar from what I read.

    Also interesting, Heyneke’s official title is: Executive Rugby Coach…

    Same shit, different name and descriptions in my view.

    Rassie in an interview on Keo said he never had time to go watch Varsity cup, or club games or massive derbies which he will now enabling him to scout for talent much better (although I personally reckon he is shit at it).

    Mind you, not enough is being said about Ian Schwartz of the Bulls, the real force behind their talent scouting and contracting and as the media release suggests, has walked a long road with Heyneke already.

  7. Reply to Morné @ 9:09 pm:
    Up there it actually states:
    Executive: Rugby Coaching. Clearly HM is not a coach himself.

    The Stormers press release contains muddled language and considerable overlap between the two jobs. My impression is its more the result of a power struggle compromise than a strategic vision.
    Bad news for the Stormers.

  8. Or rather…

    What is the difference between a ‘senior professional rugby coach’ and an ‘executive of rugby coaching’?

  9. Reply to Morné @ 9:54 pm:
    To me ‘senior professional rugby coach’ means he is going to be coach the senior professional team.

    Executive: Rugby Coaching, means managing the coaches of all teams.

  10. In Erusmus’s paragraph they use strategy and tactics right next to each other – these are normally separate functions. Neither are “long term focus” and “hands on” compatible functions.

    Coetzee will be “head coach” but will do nothing without approval of Erasmus, who is also a coach. Therefore Coetzee is really and assitant coach. He will prepare the team to play, with tactics devised by Erasmus.

    Who will take the blame for failure?
    The “hands-on” guy who devised the tactics or the “day to day” guy who prepared the team to play?

  11. Erusmus will ensure that “positive momentum” be maintained at WP, but the plan is signed off by Boland also.

    “……long term and global, ensuring positive momentum, culture and structures….”

    That smacks of your typical marketer type statement. Obfuscate and confuse, without saying anything useful.

  12. Reply to fyndraai @ 11:06 pm:

    Maybe Rassie will be doing
    what Mallett did not do or
    was not allowed to do at
    WP – and that is DOR.

    I think they have struck a
    happy compromise, whatever
    happens in practise: They kept
    Coetzee’s proven expertise and
    Hopefully it will be a win-win.

  13. This will end the same way as the Mallett era.

    The DOR should not be directly involved in coaching. When the team is struggling, it is impossible for a coach to think long term.

  14. Reply to fyndraai @ 4:07 am:

    Do you for one second believe Heyneke will have no say in the strategy and team dynamics of the BUlls senior team?

    Both Allister and Ludeke will be tasked on the day to day running of the team and management (i.e. coaching) freeing up Rassie and Heyneke from this task.

    Same thing, no matter which way you want to paint it.

  15. Erasmus:

    ‘My role as senior professional coach was non-existent during the Super 14. I didn’t put effort into the Vodacom Cup team, I didn’t look at the Varsity Cup, all the focus was on the Super 14. I actually did much more coaching in the latter part of the year than during the Super 14 as there was time.

    ‘The way it went in the second part of the year was much better, I could do my job and there were no younger players falling through the system for example. There was time to focus on broader issues. As head Super 14 coach, you have tunnel vision, you make short-term decisions which might bite the union in the long-term. That won’t happen now.’

  16. Another one, and tell me if this will be any different at the Bulls?

    ‘No one will make decisions on their own, planning and putting structures in place will be done by all the coaches on a Sunday evening like we did in the Currie Cup. We’ll discuss training drills, selection, and lineout attack for instance. Allister will handle the day-to-day management of the team. There are no egos here, everyone wants the Stormers to do well,’ he said.

  17. Reply to Morné @ 7:58 am: The bulls management know that Frans on his own will not be able to steer the Bulls to a S14 Final.

    Last year he was kak and the guys was pissed off that firstly because Jake went as their Springbok coach and Meyer did not get the job.

    And then the Bulls management stuff up for letting Meyer go before he had the job as Bok Coach.

    This year Bakkie, Victor and Fourie coach the team and they know that if they want to successfully want to defend their title they need to get Meyer in.

    Frans will be the man Meyer tells what he wants to be said after the match at press confesses.

    In WP case I think they were clever, because Rassie did nothing for them the past few years in the S14 and Alister went well in the CC, so why not give him a change.

    All in all I just think this is big cover ups for what they actually want to do without saying it to everyone.

    Just thought I will give my take on this!!

  18. Reply to fyndraai @ 1:32 pm:

    No not really.

    Rassie will be involved in strategy, which includes tactics and game plans and planning but will not be directly involved in coaching on a day to day basis as that is Allister’s job.

    Pretty much what Heyneke will do no?

  19. Or are you thinking Heyneke’s involvement will not be hands on?

    Such as he won’t sit in the same room when strategies, game plans and selections etc are discussed?

    Just what is hands on?

  20. Meyer: “…soundboard…..advice and support”
    Erasmus: “hands on…responsible…approval of..”

    I hope that Ludeke will seek Meyer’s advice but will not need his approval.
    I hope that Meyer will be in the room giving his opinion on tactics and not on the practice field giving his instructions.

    My opinion is that it is OK to have one person responsible for two functions, but not OK to have two persons responsible for the same function.

    To me the Stormers’s statement contains significant overlap in the job descriptions for Coetzee and Erusmus and the issue is further confused by calling Coetzee a Head Coach, whilst adding words consistent with an assistant position.

    Hopefully they can make it work, but if they try to implement it as it is written they will fail.

  21. Reply to fyndraai @ 2:30 pm:

    I dont read it that way at all.

    From my understanding Rassie will not be involved on the field in training at all, or very limited as I am sure Heyneke will check in from time-to-time to.

    But yes, both unions need to make it work.

    WP has had this system in place in the CC and achieved relative success.

  22. Reply to WiLLem @ 3:35 pm:

    Unfortunately it is probably more along the lines of:

    Lions don’t need it
    So SARU don’t need it

    Oh wait, they have, the Dick Muir move obviously hasn’t reached the corridors of power yet.

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