Rugby Championship

Div upset with 'white' Boks

2012-09-17 22:21
Peter de Villiers (File)
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers is upset with what he feels is too white a Springbok team currently playing in the Rugby Championship.

VIDEO: Peter de Villiers interview

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The Boks have failed to win their last three games in the competition, with a 21-11 loss to New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday leaving them in second-last position on the log.

But De Villiers feels it's not only the team's poor results on the field turning the fans against Heyneke Meyer's charges, but also the racial composition of the side.

Speaking to Ballz Radio on Monday, De Villiers lashed out at the Bok management's apparent lack of interest in selecting players of colour.

"It's just the little things that bother me. We need to know in what country we do live. And at this moment we are turning a lot of black people against ourselves by making the team white and nobody will talk about these things but I just have to. And that is what... actually we're breaking up our country again," said De Villiers.

The former Bok mentor also questioned the fact that there's no existent quota system in place anymore. He singled out a few players of colour which he feels should have been given more chances this season.

"We do have a lot of great (black) players who can make a difference. You have Gio Aplon - here in Cape Town - who can make a hell of a difference. You've got Juan de Jongh, an exciting player who can make a difference. We never played (Siya) Kolisi - who's now injured, he was never given a chance.

"There are a lot of players like Chiliboy Ralepelle. He was the one guy who can make that 10% difference that you need from a replacement to come onto the field.

"We're turning all the black support against the Springboks. Wherever I go I hear people talking negative about the Springboks," said De Villiers.

Saturday's Bok team against the All Blacks did feature three players of colour (Zane Kirchner, Bryan Habana and Tendai Mtwarira) in the starting line-up, while De Jongh was among the substitutes.

De Villiers started his tenure as Bok coach in 2008 under a cloud of controversy, with SARU admitting the decision wasn't made purely on rugby reasons, but rather political. Back then Meyer was the preferred candidate to succeed the World Cup winning coach Jake White.

De Villiers led the Boks to a series victory over the British and Irish Lions in 2009, as well as the Tri-Nations title in that same year. However, things started unravelling the next two years and his time with the national team ended when the Boks crashed out of the World Cup at the quarter-final stage to Australia last year.

De Villiers is currently the director of rugby at the University of the Western Cape.

HAVE YOUR SAY: What did you think of former Bok coach Peter de Villiers’s views. Are you happy with the racial composition of the Bok team? Send your thoughts to Sport24.


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