Rugby Championship

Jean confirms plans to retire

2015-08-07 16:07
Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Durban - There has been so much hype surrounding Jean de Villiers' return to the Springbok line-up that it almost slipped past everyone that this Saturday's clash against Argentina has the potential to be his final Test on South African soil. 

And, after Friday's captain's press conference in Umhlanga, it was confirmed that it would be. 

De Villiers initially steered clear of confirming that he would be retiring at the end of the year, but by the end of his explanation he had said what any knowledgeable rugby fan already knew.

"Every game you play might be your last and that’s exactly what I realised with this injury," De Villiers said.

"You’ve got to play as if it’s your last and you’ve got to make the most of it.

"But the reality is that it will be my last Test match in South Africa. I can’t see myself playing international rugby next year." 

De Villiers has earned 106 Test caps, and his final push is to guide the Boks to World Cup glory in England this year.

That didn't seem likely after a career-threatening knee injury saw him stretchered off the Millennium Stadium turf against Wales in November last year, and injury also affected De Villiers at both the 2007 and 2011 World Cups.  

"There were times during the eight months when I didn’t think I would get here again but to be here now just shows that through hard work anything is achievable," he said.

"It’s helped to shape me into the person that I am today and I’ve learnt more through those hardships. The previous World Cups I’ve obviously had bad luck at but this time hopefully I can make it there and stay there."

The Boks take on Argentina in Durban on Saturday. Kick-off is at 17:05.

Teams:

South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Lwazi Mvovo

Argentina:

15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Jerónimo De la Fuente, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Marcos Ayerza

Substitutes: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera, 18 Matías Díaz, 19 Matías Alemanno, 20 Tomás Lezana, 21 Martín Landajo, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino

 

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