After a poor start to the French league season that has seen the club pick up just two wins and nine points from their opening nine games, Heyneke Meyer and his coaching staff have reportedly been stood down at struggling Stade Francais.
According to a report in French publication Midi Olympique, the club’s new general manager, Thomas Lombard, told the players at the club on Tuesday afternoon that the decision had been made, with forwards coach Laurent Sempere and veteran wing Julian Arias set to take interim charge.
Meyer, the 2015 Springboks World Cup coach, had brought in a number of fellow South African coaches such as Pieter de Villiers, John McFarland, Dewald Senekal and Ricardo Loubscher, all of whom are thought to have also been removed from the club’s coaching staff.
The development comes just days after Stade fell to a disheartening 25-9 loss to Parisian rivals Racing 92, a result which cut them further adrift at the bottom of the table.
Racing sit just four spots above Stade in the Top 14 table, although that win was enough to lengthen their points lead over Stade to nine.
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Meyer’s now old side were in real danger of being left behind by the pack as they even sit seven points behind 13th-place Agen, with signs few and far between that they can close the gap.
With experienced veterans such as Morne Steyn, Sergio Parisse, Alexandre Flanquart and Djibril Camara having left the club over the summer, the former champions of France and Europe find themselves in a precarious position.
Not only have they slipped to seven defeats, their points differential of -149 is 106 points worse than the next worst differential in the league as the Parisian side have looked very much like relegation favourites since the early rounds of the competition.
?? Information Midi Olympique ??https://t.co/7AqHW5xLqV
— Midi Olympique (@midi_olympique) November 12, 2019
Sempere announced his retirement from playing this summer and immediately took up the role of forwards coach alongside de Villiers at the club, while Arias recently re-signed as a player although it was understood he would be transitioning into a backs coach role over the course of the 2019/20 season.
Between the two, they have over 25 years of service to the club as players, as well as making nearly 400 combined appearances.
Rugbyrama had reported earlier on Tuesday that Lombard had called a meeting of the players at the club and although the report suggested a number of coaches could be axed, there was a chance that Meyer would stay on in his role of director of sport and head coach.
WATCH: Heyneke Meyer insisted earlier this year he was not a dictator despite a series of high profile departures from Stade Francais
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