Heyneke promises to rebuild Stade

Heyneke Meyer has vowed to turn Stade Français into ‘the best team in the world’.

The Paris club is currently 12th on the French Top 14 log and face a relegation battle with Oyonnax, Brive and Agen. They were also thrashed 44-3 by Lyon this past weekend.

At his unveiling on Monday, Meyer said that he had told the club’s German billionaire owner Hans-Peter Wild that Stade Français, who last won the Top 14 in 2014-15, could regain their former glory.

‘I never make promises that I can’t keep – I like to under-promise and over-deliver,’ said Meyer. ‘When I had a meeting with Dr Wild, I said to him I don’t want to go into rugby or a team if I can’t have the same vision to build the best team in the world.’

Meyer said he would embrace the job even if Stade Français were relegated to the Pro D2 next season.

‘It doesn’t matter in which division [the club plays], I’ve committed and I like a challenge.’

The former Bok coach added that he wouldn’t flood the club with South African players, which happened at Montpellier when Jake White was in charge.

‘If I wanted to coach South African players I would have stayed in South Africa – I had offers,’ he said. ‘You’re always going to look for the best players in the world.

‘I’ll definitely be trying to develop young French players, and if it’s close between players you always have to go for the French.’

Photo: Christophe Simon/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt