Heyneke might not return to Tigers

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news on 5 Jan 2009 at 11:27
Tagged with : , ,

Leicester coach Heyneke Meyer’s future with the English Premiership club has been called into question following a family illness which has forced him to return to his native South Africa.

Meyer headed home earlier this week and so missed the Tigers’ fightback on Sunday which saw them beat title rivals Bath 24-22 after being 22-9 down at Welford Road, where forwards coach Richard Cockerill was in charge.

Leicester chairman Peter Tom conceded the situation “put a doubt” over Meyer continuing with the club he only joined before the start of this season following the departure of former Argentina coach Marcelo Loffreda.

“Both of Heyneke’s wife’s parents are seriously ill, and he has gone back to assess the whole situation,” said Tom. “We are happy to give him all the time he needs, and I don’t think you can speculate.

“At the end of the day, we accept the family is priority, and the best thing is that Heyneke supports his family.”

Meyer has steered the Tigers into promising positions in both the Premiership and the European Cup and Cockerill, who could now remain in charge for the rest of January, said: “Heyneke left on Tuesday evening, but he planned the week and I have spoken to him throughout.”

England flanker Tom Croft scored two tries for Leicester, the second in injury-time, while Derrick Hougaard kicked 14 points on a day when his fellow South African and opposing outside-half Butch James starred for visitors Bath.

“We saved our best rugby until the end,” said Cockerill. “You never give it up at Welford Road, and our players kept on playing. They have been very resilient all week, and the win is massive for us.”

Reigning champions Wasps moved up into eighth place in the 12-team table after a 24-18 win at home to London rivals Harlequins at Adams Park.

Wasps coach Shaun Edwards had warned his side before kick-off that this month could make or break their season and they appeared to take those words to heart, going 21-3 up before Quins got back into the match.

Now Wasps fans will hope their side, who’ve turned peaking for the play-offs into an art form, can stage one of their customary late season revivals to put them in a position to defend their title.

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