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Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 12:50 UK

Tigers name Meyer as head coach

Heyneke Meyer
Meyer narrowly missed out on becoming the Springboks coach

Leicester Tigers have named Heyneke Meyer as their new head coach.

The South African, 40, has agreed a three-year contract and replaces Marcelo Loffreda who was sacked in June after less than a year in charge.

Meyer led the Blue Bulls to Super 14 glory last year - the first South African side to win the trophy.

He said: "I am humbled a club like Leicester has considered me. I am very thankful they have appointed me and I am looking forward to getting started."

Meyer, who will arrive at Welford Road before the start of the new Premiership season, added: "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.

We were very impressed by his levels of professionalism, preparation and enthusiasm

Leicester chairman Peter Tom

"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.

"I know there are a lot of competitive clubs in the Premiership and I am looking forward to the challenge with Leicester Tigers."

Tigers chairman Peter Tom was convinced he had got the right man following a difficult season at Welford Road.

"We believe Heyneke is the outstanding candidate for a job which attracted a massive amount of interest from coaches all over the rugby world," Tom 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 the South Africa national squad.

606: DEBATE

"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.

"We believe he is the man to take Leicester Tigers forward in a crucial time for this club."

Other fancied candidates, including ex-Springboks coach Jake White and Cardiff Blues' Dai Young, had been discounted by the Tigers.

Former England captain and Lions player Neil Back had been in the running to take over the head coach role at Leicester.

But he and coach Andy Key joined National One side Leeds Carnegie's management team on Monday.


see also
Tigers eager to appoint new coach
11 Jun 08 |  Leicester
Leeds unveil Tigers' Key and Back
30 Jun 08 |  Leicester
Tigers begin search for new coach
07 Jun 08 |  Leicester
Tom stands by Loffreda dismissal
09 Jun 08 |  Leicester
Leicester dismiss coach Loffreda
06 Jun 08 |  Leicester


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