Meyer relishes Leicester 'challenge'

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The Independent Online

Leicester have announced the appointment of South African Heyneke Meyer as their new head coach. The 40-year-old has signed a three-year deal with the Tigers to replace Marcello Loffreda after the Argentine coach was sacked early last month.

The South African, who will begin work at Welford Road before the new Premiership season gets underway, said: "I have always thought that if I want to get back into rugby it must be with one of the best clubs in the world, and I truly believe Leicester Tigers are one of the best clubs in world rugby."

Meyer previously coached Blue Bulls in his homeland and had been linked with the Springboks' head coach position before missing out to Peter de Villiers earlier this year.

"I have a lot of respect for what the club has achieved in the past and I have been impressed with everybody I have met from the club," Meyer continued. "I know there are a lot of competitive clubs in the Premiership and I am looking forward to the challenge.

"I am humbled that a club like Leicester has considered me alongside the other candidates for the job of head coach and I am very thankful that they have appointed me."

The Tigers chairman, Peter Tom, hailed Meyer's arrival at a "crucial time" for the club. "We believe Heyneke is the outstanding candidate for a job which attracted a massive amount of interest from coaches all over the rugby world," he said. "He has a superb record in South Africa – and we were very impressed by his levels of professionalism, preparation and enthusiasm when he spoke to us.

"Heyneke has dealt with top-quality international players in his time with the Bulls and in working with South Africa. He has also developed players from within the ranks at his previous clubs and he has an impressive record of success in a very competitive environment."