D-Day arrives for Bok coach
Peter de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Pretoria – Hopefully Peter de Villiers has a hearty breakfast on Friday because he has an important day ahead of him.
At 09:00 De Villiers has to explain in a SANZAR hearing why controversial comments attributed to him should not be interpreted as bringing the game into disrepute.
De Villiers said on Fox Sports programme The Rugby Club that he believes there is a link between the way in which the All Blacks are being handled in this year’s matches and the fact that next year’s World Cup is being played in New Zealand.
It was interpreted that he was saying that the All Blacks were being advantaged so that they can enter the tournament as favourites.
He explained later in a statement that he believed it was good for the All Blacks to get good results as this would stimulate interest in the tournament.
Nevertheless, he has been asked to appear in front of SANZAR judicial officer Jannie Lubbe to explain what he really meant.
De Villiers will then meet with a few senior Springboks to take stock on the Tri-Nations – and how the Springboks can salvage some pride from their home games.
Sport24 understands that among the proposals will be that the team scales down on its promotional and commercial activities and spends more time on the training field.
The Boks were initially set to convene on August 17, but the date has been brought forward.
After the chat with senior players, De Villiers will meet with his selection committee to decide which players should be added to his squad.
Juan Smith, JP Pietersen and Bismarck du Plessis are expected to be in the squad. All three have recovered from injuries that have kept them out of the Tri-Nations games to date. Their experience will be worth its weight in gold for the Springboks’ home onslaught.
The coach will also have to apply his mind to his centre and scrumhalf options.
Jaque Fourie is still suspended and will miss the clash against the All Blacks (August 21), while Ruan Pienaar (shoulder injury) will miss the rest of the tournament.