Sunday 25 September 2016

Boks coach Meyer rubbishes 'racist' claims

Published 13/08/2015 | 02:30

Springbok Coach Heyneke Meyer: 'You’re always going to get players that are unhappy if they don’t play. I don’t look at colour, I look at the best players'
Springbok Coach Heyneke Meyer: 'You’re always going to get players that are unhappy if they don’t play. I don’t look at colour, I look at the best players'

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer says he has the full backing of his players and is committed to a transformation in Springbok rugby after coming under fire from the country's largest trade union.

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Reports suggested five black players had approached the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) with grievances over their non-selection for recent matches, which led the organisation to call for Meyer to be sacked over what they termed "racist choices".

But the 47-year-old says his players have rallied around him and dismissed Cosatu's claims.

"A lot of them came to me and said, 'coach, it's not true what's in the papers. We stand by you, we know exactly where we stand'," Meyer said yesterday. "You're always going to get players that are unhappy if they don't play. I don't look at colour, I look at the best players. I'm totally committed to transformation and I have a great relationship with my players."

Two black players, Zimbabwe-born Tendai Mtawarira and Bryan Habana, were in the starting line-up for the shock 37-25 loss to Argentina in Durban on Saturday.

That number will jump to four for the test against the same opposition in Buenos Aires this weekend. Fullback Zane Kirchner and winger Lwazi Mvovo are injury replacements, while Habana retains his place and Trevor Nyakane replaces Mtawarira at prop.

Irish Independent

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