Tri-Nations

Div takes a swipe at WP

2010-08-12 22:33
Peter de Villiers (Gallo Images)
JJ Harmse

Johannesburg – “It is a pity if coaches that could have served their country are not allowed to do it. What makes it worse is that we may now have to look to a foreigner to do the job.”

That was the reaction from Springbok coach Peter de Villiers to the news that Stormers and Western Province defence coach Jacques Nienaber will not be released to the Springboks by the union.

Nienaber returned to Cape Town after assisting at the Bok training camp this week.

De Villiers also suggested that Nienaber would not be approached for help again while he coached the Boks.

“It’s a pity that something like this had to happen. He had an opportunity to use his knowledge to the benefit of the country, but is not being allowed to do it. It was his big chance to make a contribution at the highest level and it has now been lost,” said De Villiers.

“It also means that I will now have to look for someone overseas to do a job that a South African could have done.”

Nienaber was called upon after the Springboks struggled with their defence on the away leg of the Tri-Nations and conceded 10 tries in three Tests.

De Villiers admitted that he needed help. “We will always use experts. I believe WP and the Blue Bulls’ defence coaches are world class and Gary Gold (Bok defence coach) is not far behind. We did not defend well overseas, but only need to make small changes.”

He admitted that the team was caught between two playing patterns. “Previously the largest part of the squad consisted of Bulls and Sharks players. Their game plan and playing pattern did not differ significantly.

“This year it’s between the Bulls and Stormers and there is a significant difference. The players did not adapt well enough.”

De Villiers laughed when it was suggested that he could solve the problem by picking less Stormers.

On a more serious note, he summed up the All Blacks as follows: “Very good.”

De Villiers will name his team for the August 21 clash against the All Blacks at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday.

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