Div goes back to future

2011-08-24 15:07

Johannesburg - South African newspapers on Wednesday found it ironic that Springbok coach Peter de Villiers had chosen 18 of the 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning squad to defend the title.

VIDEO: Ard Matthews butchers SA anthem

GALLERY: The 2011 Springbok Rugby World Cup squad

"De Villiers, who set out to change the face of Bok rugby, has come full circle by leaning on those who have done it before," noted Craig Ray in The Times.

"Bok coach De Villiers looked as much to the past as the future when he announced a 30-man squad for the Rugby World Cup," wrote Kevin McCallum in The Star.

The announcement of the squad was splashed across the front and back pages of most Johannesburg dailies as South Africa get set for the World Cup in New Zealand in September and October.

De Villiers, a controversial successor to World Cup-winning coach Jake White in 2008 as he had no top-level experience, promised a revolution when he took over.

But after many experiments, he opted for a squad with an average age of 28 that some media commentators call "tried and trusted" and others "geriatric".

All newspapers agreed that Sharks left-wing Lwazi Mvovo was the biggest loser after they predicted he would make the cut as understudy to 2007 Rugby Player of the World Bryan Habana.

Jacques van der Westhuyzen of The Star described Mvovo as "a dynamic wing with great pace who has used his chances well at Test level since debuting against Scotland at the end of last year.

"He is a powerful player with good speed and never shirks the physical challenges. Lwazi would not have let the Boks down."

Business Day said De Villiers admitted that the exclusion of Mvovo was the toughest decision while finalising his squad.

Explaining his preference for Odwa Ndungane, the coach said the greater experience of the 30-year-old had counted heavily in his favour.

The squad, which leaves Johannesburg for New Zealand on September 1, boasts a combined 1 224 caps with lock Victor Matfield (107) and hooker and captain John Smit (106) making the most Test appearances.

Mvovo, locks Gerhard Mostert and Flip van der Merwe and loose forward Ashley Johnson were unlucky not to make the squad, according to The Star.

They added that Ndungane, flyhalf/scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, lock Johann Muller and flank Francois Louw were lucky to be heading for Auckland.

South Africa start the title defence on September 11 against Wales in Wellington and also face unpredictable islanders Fiji and Samoa and rank outsiders Namibia in Pool D.

The top two finishers advance to the quarter-finals of a competition won twice by Australia and South Africa and once by New Zealand and England since its 1987 inception.


  • Anneleen - 2011-08-24 15:16

    Div goes back to the future, in order for the Boks to repeat history, and bring us back the William Webb Ellis to enjoy in the present day...go Div and go Bokke!!!

  • lodder - 2011-08-24 15:19

    PDV is pathetic after four yrs he still hasnt developed any potent startegy that can topple the aussies n all blacks nevermind the personnel as well.these players have been there and won it so they dont have the hunger anymore,honestly i dnt see the boks going beyond the semi-finals

      Jack Turner - 2011-08-24 16:00

      So sad to have to admit it....but you are 1000% correct.....

      Paul - 2011-08-24 16:18

      PDV vs Henry P11W5L6 and his record is better against the Aussies ... PDV has won 2 games against the AB's in NZ where the WC is being played ...and in my opinion in the Seweto test last year all 3 AB tries had forward passes in them(1 even had 2fwd passes) if the useless ref's had picked up even 1 of those fwd passes PDV would be up on Hendry the most sucessful coach of the most sucessful team in the history of the game ... but "lodder" knows better ... lol well I suppose it takes all types to make the World go round ... but for me the glass is always half FULL! GO BOKKE GO !!!

      Krueger - 2011-08-24 19:14

      @Paul - Now imagine what a REAL coach would've achieved with this team...

  • jk - 2011-08-24 15:22

    everyone stay calm- snorre het n plan, support vir n verandering die land en bokke, en hou op om so negatief te wees!!!! france by 8...

      jk - 2011-08-24 15:31

      trust snorre peoples...

      Netherlands - 2011-08-24 15:52

      He PROMISED change.... yet he REMAINS the SAME... Hurry UP and WAIT!

      TheBush Catable - 2011-08-24 15:52

      What's this obsession with France?

      jk - 2011-08-24 15:58

      france, brilliant when they get it right, and they love beating NZ..

      Netherlands - 2011-08-24 16:42

      There is NO SADNESS, like the SADNESS of NZ when France TROUNCES THEM!!!!

  • Hanjo - 2011-08-24 15:25

    Ironic? it makes perfect sense, why if you have players who have been there would you leave them behind? just to prove a point?!! I've learned (specially from the pessimistic comments usually on here) that Springbok supporters are very seldom satisfied and certainly never happy with results, selections, performances, coaching staff, etc. We've picked a very strong solid squad for the WC, how many positive articles have you seen? how many positive comments in comparison to the negative? if we win this WC, very few will have the balls to give credit where it's due, how many will give credit to Peter de Villiers or John Smit?

  • cj - 2011-08-24 15:26

    PDivvy just cannot win. With only the selection of Odwa mildly contentious, he has done very well to mix experience and youth. The constant criticism is getting tiresome. Divvy has brought a fresh air to the job of Bok coach. At least he doesn't just spew forth the same tired old clichés that others do.

  • Zackster - 2011-08-24 15:32

    "Div goes back to future" - that was always going to happen. But rather than have another go at PDiv who, let's face it, can only deliver what he is capable of (which is not much), I believe that Oregon Hoskins must shoulder all the blame for the failings of his coach who hasn't delivered a revolution. Had Hoskins had any kind of backbone or any kind of understanding of rugby he would have stood up to the politicians and the ruling party, the ANCYL, and got the best coach for the job, whilst simultaneously, developing black coaches through proper programmes aimed at previously disadvantaged people. In addition, he would have got the government to explain to the people of South Africa why it hasn't spent adequate amounts of money on infrastructure to bring rugby to the masses instead of spending it on international youth gatherings and cocktail parties. Instead he left us with an inexperienced, limited coach (with a skin thicker than rhino hide) who could never succeed. He set the poor bloke up to fail but kept his masters happy. The end result? No rugby development in SA, a set back to the development of black coaches by 20 years and a personal legacy for Hoskins as a weak and racist president. Go Bokke!!!

      honest - 2011-08-24 15:51

      The All Blacks have 9 players of the previous world cup and 5 players with two world cup appearances in their world cup squad, and the Tri Nations have proved that neither the All Blacks, or AUS or The Boks can field a second string side or inexperienced players and win amongs each other so I think this article is abit low and just directed against our Bok coach!!!!!!!!

      RL - 2011-08-24 16:04

      you make some fair comments but i really dont understand what you okes want from div. growing up i recall more often than not the boks playing third fiddle to australasians including under jake. seems he won a world cup and everyone forgot all the rubbish dished up in between. with a world cup and european grand slam under his belt, that will make div the most succesful springbok coach ever.

  • Klem - 2011-08-24 15:36

    Old Boks, at best, half pace compared to 4 years ago -

      Sighnide - 2011-08-24 15:42

      Seems the everyone has forgotten that back in 2007 when we won the RWC almost all the papers where soooo excited at our young Boks.... young enough to be be better in 4 years, young enough to still be playing in 4 years, young enough to win again in 4 years.... SA rugby public how soon we forget!

      Patriot - 2011-08-24 15:44

      AB's have the same average age.

      Tools1 - 2011-08-24 15:44

      Same average age as NZ. We only have more mileage interms of games played. Average age of Eng when they won the world cup was 29.......

      jk - 2011-08-24 15:47

      tools-what you still doing here??

      Tools1 - 2011-08-24 15:58

      jk- Well if it isnt Mr Prediction. Didnt you predict WP by 8 with a bonus point and the Bokke to lose for last week. If you have an Octapus in your fish tank at home id recomend you make some calamari..Some few problems at WP only just beating the Lions Hey! PROOOOOOOBLEMS.

      jk - 2011-08-24 16:23

      tools-let jk educate you, lions played with their super rugby side, we played with a side fullof maties & uct guys (thats 2 universaties, if you dont know), so, it sum the lions up... wp to beat pumas by 18, bulle to loose to potch by 1...

      Tools1 - 2011-08-24 16:59

      jk I live in Stellenbosch right next to the university, and you couldnt educate a bergie! I was waiting for thw excuses.. there is another Bulls player leaving maby you can buy him. I reacon with another 4 bulls players WP could finaly win somthing.

  • JanRatkas - 2011-08-24 15:37

    Got to love the pic. A true sight for sore eyes...

      jk - 2011-08-24 15:38

      jip, we gonna miss him...

      JanRatkas - 2011-08-24 15:41

      Stadig op die twak by bru...

      Pictureof - 2011-08-24 15:43

      Hehe ye he has red eyes just like that Beethoven Dog. Pity he is not as likeable.

  • jay - 2011-08-24 15:39

    What did all of you expect? The writing has been on the wall since early last year. The team had been built up around Bulls players (some BB`s have since winning the last RWC moved to other clubs). We shall see whether "our" style of rugby with these players on board, shall win it, won`t we? I think rugby has moved on since 2007...have we???

      Sighnide - 2011-08-24 15:47

      We forget that for over a century the Bok have relied on a few things... Big forwards, Great place kickers and Awesome defense. The game has moved on over the last 100 years BUT the Boks have remained a world power playing SPRINKBOK RUGBY. It is what we do, our school, varsity and club structures feed this type of play. Why change? We should embrace it as part our our is the way we play!!!

      jay - 2011-08-24 15:57

      Sighride, you are right. But just because it is our culture, doesn`t mean change is bad. Look at soccer. Germany needed to change drastically in an old style sytem played and are slowly reaping rewards and playing attractive games (and winning them).. The Springboks have not had that much competition, as most nations do not field a decent rugby team. Our measure should rightly be that other teams should "tremble" when they play us. Our style must be imposed on them. With all the talent we have...what happened? (In comparison to AB, Aussies)....Maybe I am asking too much. Go bokke!!

      Sighnide - 2011-08-24 16:03

      So we need BIGGER forwards, guys that can slot it from 70 meters and clones of Brussow..... sure that'll make a few Aussies shake ;)

  • whitemamba - 2011-08-24 15:43

    We used to have a winning culture. The bok teams of old were of a better selection and died on the field for the green + gold. Our winning culture is gone and we have come to accept mediocrity and some of the selected players of today just dont seem to go to the wall.

  • Santie - 2011-08-24 15:46

    This shows you clearly who is the quality players in South Africa. When Divvy was introduced as coach he kept the bulk of the Jake White era, that was still a very young bunch. During is 4 years run, he has performed poorly, except 2009, when he had the massive challenge of the Lions, where he once again went back to the team ( Most guys from 2007 World Cup team) plus new stars like Morne Steyn and Heinrich Brussow, but the bulk was still from White's era. He took that same bunch to win the tri nations that year. Thereafter, he tried and tested with players performing well on form during the season, but clearily could not lift up to the Test rugby scene, and the results showed during the tri nations. Now he has gone back to the guys that has proven to win at top level and under pressure, and I give it to him, that he went against his own policy and also included foreign club players, because those chosen are better than the guys playing currently in SA.

  • Uninformed - 2011-08-24 15:49

    Div is just riding on the back of White's hard work. I have never seen such an indecisive coach before. I wanted too see more stars in our team like in 2007, but all I see is a lot of experience. No up and coming youth that is hungry for the game. These okes look to tired if you ask me.

  • Babba x - 2011-08-24 16:02

    Chill, Rassie is there...

      Tools1 - 2011-08-24 16:09

      I hope he is analising the crap out of the oposition, we sure as hell need some direction.

  • Stox - 2011-08-24 16:24

    Hmmm... he looks a bit gaffed xD Red eyes never escape the camera lens! :D

  • saburger - 2011-08-24 16:47

    The Boks played Blue Bull rugby with the same old players and lack of strategies. Both sides lack good professional coaching, as indicated by 2011 results. Both sides had previous superior coaches, and current coaches try the same players wirth no strategies.

  • astrix1 - 2011-08-24 16:51

    it is because of a lack of vision, lack of developing new players and strategy. That goes not only for PdV but the whole SARU Board

  • rosemarie - 2011-08-24 19:15

    Pdv “Mirror mirror who is the best team of all” Mirror “the Boks they are the world Champions” PdV “Mirror, mirror on the wall I have a plan – I will play them all” Mirror” You are so clever and also tall and handsome”

  • boskabouter - 2011-08-24 20:02

    Four years ago you plonkers said that most of the Boks are young enough to play in the World cup in 2011, now you complain they are too old. Never satisfied! Grow up and support the Boks no matter what!

  • Zab - 2011-08-24 20:20

    Besides, most of the players you reffering to as J.Whites players were groomed by Div @ U21 level.

  • Nico - 2011-08-24 21:20

    In 2007, everyone raved about how we had "a young side that could play again in 2011". Now it actually happens, and the same press talks about "geriatrics" and PdV playing with "Jake White's talent." Rugby journalism is a load of crap.

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