Meyer vows to transform struggling Stade Francais
PARIS: South African Heyneke Meyer vowed to turn relegation haunted Stade Francais into “the best team in the world” at his unveiling in Paris yesterday. The former Springbok coach will take over the reins next season-when Stade will be hoping to still be playing in the Top 14. Champions in 2015, the Parisians have fallen on hard times and are involved in a relegation battle alongside minnows Oyonnax, Brive and Agen.
But Meyer still believes that under Swiss millionnaire owner Hans-Peter Wild, the club can bounce back to past glories. “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 Doctor 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.” Wild, though, wasn’t so guarded about his ambitions.
“In three years we’ll be champions, perhaps it’s going to take four,” said the German-born businessman. A 44-3 thrashing by Lyon at the weekend left Stade four points above the relegation places with two matches to play.
But they are being hunted down by an Oyonnax side that has won five of their last seven matches, while next week’s visit of rock-bottom Brive could prove decisive. Meyer insisted that even relegation at the end of this season would not derail his ambitions. — AFP