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Peter de Villiers

Springbok Rugby World Cup 2015 squad

Springbok Rugby World Cup 2015 squad

With the Springbok Rugby World Cup Squad having been announced on Friday at 18:00 SA Time, this weekend has slowly seen the emergence of the reaction to it.

The general reaction, mine included, is that some players should not be there and some should… but I think it’s fair to say that almost everybody agrees on 85% PLUS of the selected players… call them the “Non-Contestables”, if you will.

It is those final 7 or 8 players which the bickering has featured about as well as the undoubted support for or against the national coach, Heyneke Meyer.

From Government circles, the Minister of Sport & Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, has praised the team and announced that the South African Rugby Union (SARU) is on track with their transformation goals.

To counter this, some obscure little piddly widdly Political Party, the Agency for New Agenda Party…. yeah right, who the hell are they, you are also asking, like me.. have brought a High Court Application in the North Gauteng High Court, seeking an urgent order to compel SARU and the Sports Department officials to surrender their passports so they cannot travel.

Heyneke Meyer has had to fend off those who have questioned some of his selections too, mainly the selection of Rudy Paige at scrumhalf, the only uncapped Springbok in the squad and he has had to give reasons for the specific selection.

In recent weeks, the previous Springbok coach, Peter de Villiers, has also come out with some scathing critisism against Heyneke Meyer, and De Villiers has gone so far as to join forces with Labour Movement, Cosatu, to get his agenda and points accross as well as to form the backbone of a pressure group for the inclusion of more players of colour. Heyneke Meyer has retorted with a very simple yet eloquent reply, by praising Peter de Villiers.

Lastly, with fears regarding the fitness of a number of previously injured and rehabilitating players included in the squad, most notably Fourie du Preez, Jean de Villiers, Duane Vermeulen, Jannie du Plessis and Coenie Oosthuizen, coach Meyer now assures us that all 31 players will be ready to play when the tournament starts on 18 September.

So here goes, let’s look at all these aspects in more depth:

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Peter de Villiers

Peter de Villiers

Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers was a guest speaker at an event where a group of supporters burned a Springbok jersey out of protest last week.

A new organisation, Supporters Against Racist Rugby Associations (Sarra), was officially launched in Mossel Bay last Friday, where the group burned a Springbok rugby jersey.

The group wants to see more players of colour in the Springbok team and feels not enough is being done to speed up the transformation process in South African rugby.

De Villiers, 58, attended the event as guest speaker.

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Dewey Swartbooi

Dewey Swartbooi

Dewey Swartbooi has been appointed head coach of the Boland Cavaliers for the Currie Cup season.

Swartbooi, a former Boland, Bulls, Lions and Cats centre, will replace Abe Davids, who accepted a severance package following a long court battle with the union.

It was reported last week that former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers would get the job as Boland coach, but the Boland top brass has obviously had a change of heart and appointed Swartbooi instead.

According to tabloid press, De Villiers was a shoo-in for the job, but uncertainty at the embattled union led to a change in plans.

Swartbooi, who has been involved in coaching at Boland since 2012, will be assisted by Randall Modiba (backline coach) and Andries Human (forwards consultant).

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Peter de VilliersFormer Springbok coach Peter de Villiers is being linked with the head coaching position of the Boland Cavaliers.

De Villiers has been Director of Rugby at the University of the Western Cape for the last few seasons, but his contract expired at the end of this year’s Varsity Shield competition.

He recently indicated that he was in the market for a new job.

According to Thursday’s Die Son newspaper, De Villiers is set to be named as the new Boland coach, replacing Abe Davids who left his post earlier in the week.

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Peter de Villiers

Peter de Villiers

Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers is eager to again coach rugby at a high level.

De Villiers currently coaches the University of the Western Cape, who compete in the Varsity Shield competition.

He said, after his side lost 16 / 5 to the University of KwaZulu-Natal in their Varsity Shield opener on Monday.

De Villiers said his contract with UWC expires after this year’s Varsity Shield and he would be interested in coaching at Varsity Cup, Currie Cup, Super Rugby, international level or even an overseas club.

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Peter de Villiers

Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers answered questions posed by the public.

Mark Fleming asked: Where are you working now?

Peter de Villiers: At UWC as their director of rugby. To date, my role has mostly consisted of putting structures in place and upskilling the coaches. The biggest tasks were getting the coaches to buy into something that didn’t previously exist and making the players believe in themselves.

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For better or worse, the Pieter de Villiers era has come to an end. Many felt at the time of his appointment that Heyneke Meyer was the best candidate, and now four years later he will get his opportunity to prove them wrong.

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Not much that Peter de Villiers says in this Article can be disputed. He had a hard task to guide Jake White’s glory boys. With the massive amount of senior player power and his introduction to the coaching job, he was always on the receiving end. Yes, he was not the best technical coach but he kept the politicians off our backs and the team together.

Good luck to the next coach!

It is my impression that politcs will play a major role again and if the new coach is not from the previously disadvantaged group, his task will be most difficult.

Enough opinionating, here is the actual Article: Continue reading

What a year of would-haves, could-haves, should-haves and, ultimately, bitter underachievement for the Springboks in a year when the All Blacks enjoyed the delicious irony of at last winning the World Cup despite being outplayed in the final. After 26 years of being the best team on the planet but failing to land the Webb Ellis Cup because of the wicked vagaries of death-or-glory rugby, the wheel finally turned for the Kiwis at the global showpiece.

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Four years ago, the SA Rugby bosses did the right thing morally by appointing Peter de Villiers as the first black Springbok coach. Next month they will hopefully do the right thing again. This time by picking the best man for the Bok job – doesn’t matter if he is white, caramel, black, or something in-between.

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With SA Ruby (SARU) in the throngs of considering the appointment of a new Rugby coach for the Springboks, when Peter de Villiers’ contract concludes in December 2011, it might be prudent to look at results in the last 4 years.

The first thing which emerges is that there has been a steady decline in winning percentages over the last 4 years.

During the first 2 years of the reign of Peter de Villiers the winning percentage was an average of 68 % but during the last 2 years of his reign it has dropped to an average of 56.5 % for those 2 years.

It has to be noted that Peter de Villiers inherited a World Cup winning squad, which has now slipped to No 4 in the IRB rankings, below France.

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Only time will tell whether the Golden Lions have pulled off a major coup or made another giant mistake, but the appointment of John Mitchell to coach the side in the Currie Cup is nothing short of bizarre.

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

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