Former Springboks want Meyer removed

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Lynn McConnell     09 Nov 2015     Getty Images

Former Test captains Wynand Claasen and Divan Serfontein are attempting to drum up support among former Springboks, provincial players and supporters to ensure Meyer doesn't remain as coach.

Claasen, from Natal, captained South Africa between 1981-84 and led the team to New Zealand in 1981, and Serfontein is from Western Province.

According to Durban's The Witness newspaper, the pair have circulated a letter under the heading 'Heyneke Must Fall' among dozens of former Springboks.

They have called for concerted action to ensure Meyer's contract is not renewed when it comes up for discussion by the South Africa Rugby Union next month.

"Let us stand together and fight for change in South African rugby so that we, as loyal South Africans, can again be proud and that players get the opportunities to develop, thrive and to wear the Springbok jersey with pride," they said.

"There is no doubt that SA rugby is on the decline, if one looks at the performances of the Springbok team over the last four years.

"One out of eight victories over the All Blacks in the last four years, tell the whole sorry tale," they said.

Meyer had said after taking up the position after the 2011 World Cup, that people must judge him after the 2015 Cup.

"Well, the tournament has come and gone and now is the time to judge him," they said.

The lack of skills was the reason for the side's failure at the World Cup, they said.

"The skills of the players are being suppressed in his rigid, predictable pattern and he actually points a finger at himself by acknowledging that the skills are lacking.

"He is coaching pattern rugby instead of individual skills. He is obsessed with size and power…his archaic pattern doesn't work any more, but he is still persisting with it.

"It points to stubbornness and he does not realise that the rest of the rugby world has already moved on, playing total, 15-man rugby, which is exciting both for players and spectators. The players of other countries develop and improve. South Africans are going backwards," they said.

Meyer did not understand the modern game and all countries knew exactly how the Boks played and planned accordingly.

They asked what fate Steve Hansen, whose match demeanour they preferred to that Meyer exhibited during games, could expect if the All Blacks had lost to Argentina at home and then been beaten by Japan before returning home with a bronze medal to show for the side's efforts.

"Meyer insisted on experience and pursued old players past their best or retired; he stuck to players who have been injured for a long time; players out of form; and also did not give the necessary opportunities to players of colour.

"Look further to his inexperienced managing and coaching team (which he insisted be appointed) with absolutely no international experience at this level.

"Apparently they also do not know how to coach individual skills. It therefore indicates that Heyneke appoints people, not because of their ability as coaches, but so that he could control them and demand total loyalty," they said.