Cape Town - Springbok captain Jean de
Villiers says the lack of depth in the outside centre position is a bit of a
De Villiers is currently undergoing
intensive rehabilitation after suffering a horrific knee injury in the
Springboks’ final Test against Wales in Cardiff late last year.
He is in a race against time to prove his
fitness for the Rugby World Cup in England and Wales later this year but his
recovery process appears to be on track, with the player indicating a return to
the playing field in July.
The Bok skipper said he wants to prove that
he’s still the best inside centre (No 12) in the country, but wouldn’t mind
helping out at outside centre - a position he feels the Boks lack depth.
“If need be, then I’ll play at outside
centre to help the team out,” De Villiers told Netwerk24. “For me, there aren’t
enough guys who want to make that position (No 13) their own.
“Lionel Mapoe and Juan de Jongh have to
grab that chance to show they can do it. I believe they are good enough to do
“I wouldn’t mind playing at 13. However,
what bothers me is that, being captain, I’d be a bit far from the action.
“Another thing is that whoever then gets
picked at 10 (flyhalf) and 12 would be youngsters in two very important
“At flyhalf you have (Handre) Pollard,
(Pat) Lambie and (Elton) Jantjies to choose from and at inside centre you’d
have (Damian) de Allende and Jan Serfontein.
“I also believe 13 is the toughest position
to defend in. It could happen that I play at 12 on attack and defend at 13.”
De Villiers also felt the Boks may be a bit
thin on the wing.
“There are guys like Bryan (Habana), JP
(Pietersen) and Cornal Hendricks who stand out, but I’d like us to have
more depth at wing.”
De Villiers, 34, made his Test debut
against France in Marseille in 2002 and has since represented the Springboks in
He became Bok captain in 2012.