Leicester Tigers have today confirmed the resignation of head coach Heyneke Meyer.
Meyer returned to South Africa with his wife and children at the end of December after both his parents-in-law fell seriously ill and it was quickly rumoured that the former Blue Bulls coach would be unable to return.
The Tigers’ worst fears have now been confirmed with the news that he will remain in his homeland.
Meyer said: “This has been a very difficult decision for me to make, in difficult circumstances, but I hope everyone can understand my reasons.
“Leicester Tigers is a very special rugby club and I accepted the job there because I felt it was equipped to go on to greater success.
“I enjoyed my time living and working in England. The Board, the staff, Martin Corry and the players, and the supporters have been fantastic towards me and my family during my time at Leicester and also during the time I have spent back in South Africa.
“I would like to thank them all for their support and wish everyone at Welford Road all the very best. I am sure the club will enjoy great success in the future.”
Tigers chairman Peter Tom CBE said: “It is with deep regret that we accept Heyneke’s resignation because he has an outstanding record of achievement in his career, everyone was very supportive of him here and we could all sense success with him as head coach.
“But Heyneke found himself in a very difficult situation and we fully understand the reasons for his decision to remain in South Africa.
“He had the club’s full support to remain with his family for as long as he felt necessary in such difficult circumstances.
“Heyneke is a very honourable man and, after spending time discussing the situation with his family, he felt it unfair on both parties to carry on indefinitely and has offered his resignation from his position as the head coach of Leicester Tigers.
“While disappointed that he is unable to carry on the good work here, we sincerely wish him and his family well for the future. They will always be welcome at Leicester Tigers.”
The club confirmed that Richard Cockerill will continue to head the coaching team, supported by Matt O’Connor and Paul Burke.Reuse content