New Zealand boss Steve Hansen has revealed that his counterpart Heyneke Meyer phoned him before resigning as South Africa's coach.
Meyer stepped down from his position on Thursday after four years in charge. During his tenure, the Springboks recorded a 66.7 percent winning record in Tests.
Meyer became good friends with Hansen after the duo took charge of their respective countries’ national teams in 2012.
Hansen believes South African rugby would be weaker without Meyer.
“We spoke last night actually, we talked about it. I think it’s the right thing for Heyneke (to do). He’s come under immense pressure from everything over in South Africa,” Hansen told TVNZ.
“It’s a sad day for South African rugby. They’ve not only lost a good coach but they’ve lost a great man too.”
When asked if he gave Meyer any advice, Hansen replied: “I just said he’s got to follow his heart, do what’s right for him and his family. He’d already made the decision, but just phoned me to have a chat.”
The All Blacks secured a narrow 20-18 victory over the Springboks in their Rugby World Cup semi-final before going on to win the tournament.