Div says he deserves a medal
Cape Town - He deserves a medal after four years as Springbok coach, Peter de Villiers said on Tuesday.
"And a big one too," the coach boldly stated.
According to Die Burger newspaper, De Villiers and SA Rugby Union (SARU) CEO Jurie Roux were in Parliament to inform the portfolio committee on sport and recreation about preparations for next month’s Rugby World Cup tournament.
De Villiers said the coaching team did an excellent job of forging players from different unions with different game patterns into a world-class team within a few weeks - despite some injuries.
He outlined plans for winning the World Cup, as well as some of the team's weaknesses, strengths and what they see as threats.
He described one of the weaknesses as an inability to deliver the knockout punch.
“We need a killer instinct,” said De Villiers.
MPs grilled De Villiers and SARU about the Springboks’ defeats during the Tri-Nations tour of Australia and New Zealand. They repeatedly asked why the best team stayed at home, accusing De Villiers of persisting with players whose game is not up to scratch.
But De Villiers maintained that the team has enough experience and talent to be crowned the best in the world, and Roux insisted that the best available players went on tour. Injured players attended a rehabilitation camp in Rustenburg and SARU has the medical certificates to prove it.
De Villiers stressed that team selections have never been motivated by sentiment and that experience, leadership and “class” were critical. “We first decide what we want before we look at the names. … There has never been a sentimental selection.”
ANC MPs used the opportunity to attack SARU about the lack of transformation.
According to the Beeld newspaper, Committee chairman Mgolodi Dikgacwi said players of colour are disappearing, while the “white laaities” continue to progress. He wanted to know what SARU was doing about it.
“The past two weeks the Sharks and the Cheetahs on the field were 100% white. Is no development taking place in those provinces? If you don’t tell them what the criterion is they will not come right.”