Apologise to Div, or else

2010-07-22 22:40

JJ Harmse

Brisbane – “Make a public apology or we won’t speak to you again.”

That is the ultimatum that the Springbok team have issued Australian  TV company Fox Sports after coach Peter de Villiers was called a clown during the company’s rugby programme, The Rugby Club.

Former Wallaby hooker Brendan Cannon said in a discussion on Wednesday night about the upcoming Test between the Springboks and Wallabies that De Villiers is a clown.

“I can’t believe that senior players like John Smit and Victor Matfield allow themselves to be controlled by this guy. He is a clown. He surely does not coach the team,” said Cannon.

A number of De Villiers’s most controversial statements from the past were mentioned, with each panel member belittling him.

Springbok spokesperson Anthony Mackaiser said that it was decided then that enough is enough.

“I spoke to the executive producer of the programme and we are demanding an immediate apology. They have no right to talk about our coach that way and we view it in poor taste and a very negative light,” he said.

Mackaiser said they had informed the station that no Springbok player or member of management would speak to Fox until Cannon has apologised on air.

If Cannon does not do it, no interviews will be possible in the build-up programmes prior to Saturday’s Test.

Fox are the local affiliate of Newscorp, who owe the TV rights for the Tri-Nations and as such have certain preferential rights. One of them is interviews in the build-up to a Test.

As in New Zealand, De Villiers is a popular topic in the local media, who are painting the Boks as a bunch of undisciplined bullies.

A report in The Australian earlier in the week referred to De Villiers as an “extremely unpredictable man”.

The attack follows several similar attempts by TV stations and newspapers in New Zealand to belittle De Villiers.

His relationship with the international media on tours has never been good, but the comment by Cannon is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Meanwhile, Rugby Heaven columnist Greg Growden has described the Bok coach as rugby’s own Richard Pryor. He described De Villiers as a “part-time Springbok coach and full-time comedian”.

He writes that rugby writers seldom have to fight for front-row seats in coaches’ press conferences, but this week there was excitement in the air as De Villiers was in town.

Meanwhile, a study here has shown that rugby’s popularity is on the wane. Rugby is now just 13% of the Australian population’s preferred sport as opposed to 22% in 2003.


  • Jez - 2010-07-22 22:55

    No one in NZ or the rest of the world is trying to belittle PDV, he's doing a great job of that himself!!

  • Mr Chubby Pants - 2010-07-22 23:04

    Whose the clown...Cannon drives over his own little fact that a wicked clown....but really pdiv is making life embarrassing for SA...SA rugby should know that this oke is a joke...when we win the attention is diverted away from him and he can get away with muder..but now that the chips are down...Different story mense!!!!!

  • PdV wake-up - 2010-07-22 23:05

    PdV wake-up! Box toe met jou, Habana & Januarie. Leer om jou grootbek toe te hou!

  • Rusty - 2010-07-22 23:07

    Why the need to apologise. The Bok supporters think he is a joke as well. He is a prize idiot riding on Jake Whites back. There has been no "go-forward" since he took over. He is not a coach and definitely not a media person. Thick as a brick and no rugby knowledge. He could drive the team bus, but they need to be at the field on time. Saru will soon be using a new sponsor and at the same time they should get a new coach, the supporters are gatvol.

  • Proudly SA! - 2010-07-22 23:08

    I'd much rather have 48 million DIVvies than a country full of drunk racist, sexist, abusive and unintelligent MEL Gibsons'! You Aussies really shouldn't throw stones. It just proves that the convicted prisoner gene has been handed down the generations with no sign of it deteriorating. Shame.

  • GT - 2010-07-22 23:11

    Walks like a duck, looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, guess what?

  • Richard - 2010-07-22 23:12

    I can’t believe that senior players like John Smit and Victor Matfield allow themselves to be controlled by this guy. He is a clown. He surely does not coach the team.

  • Dr - 2010-07-22 23:17

    Clown! Clown! Clown! YES!!! He is an embarassment!

  • Nick - 2010-07-22 23:17

    Summary: Australia have no effing idea what they are talking about, when it comes to rugby

  • Karen - 2010-07-22 23:18

    Oh my soul!! We look like such amateurs. For the love of G*d would somebody please give our coach some media lessons so we don't look like the brats we are coming across as. I am cringing reading this and if the morons running the Springboks think this is going to defuse things they're smoking something. This is a red flag to a bull. What an embarrassment we are

  • Fleckie - 2010-07-22 23:21

    He is a bloody clown and we all no he doesn't coach the side, he's riding the wave tht Jake White created. Gary Gold and the senoir players run the show. Just look at the things he has said in the past, the mans a clown and we all no why he got the job.

  • Vic J - 2010-07-22 23:34

    I thought this is a mans game. Seems more like 11 year olds in the park. Whish the whole lot will grow up. Is no one going to stop PdV from making a fool of us proud South African rugby supporters.

  • Peter - 2010-07-22 23:37

    A clown is a clown is a clown and he make himself even more clownish by not REALISING that he behaves like a clown. Does he think he is serious? If so, he needs treatment.

  • robgreene - 2010-07-22 23:37

    Unfortunately PDV has not been coached in the finer art of public speaking. Sadly, the majority of people who respond to this site , have no idea of english grammar. I hold no candle to PDV , but , please , use decent english if on this site!

  • Chris in Oz - 2010-07-22 23:39

    The truth hurts. What is the Boks doing by focussing on what is said in the media? Stick to coaching the team and to hell with what is said in the media. Then the praises will come. More negative publicity will come when you pull this pre-school stunt, of "say sorry or I will not be your maaitjie anymore".

  • Mike@CapeT - 2010-07-22 23:45

    Unfortunately, Cannon is only putting in words, what everyone thinks! Div may be amusing but he is a media disaster and one wonders how much longer SARU can afford to put up with him! His comments about the referee plot against the Springbok team is a total no-no.

  • John - 2010-07-22 23:49

    The problem with De Villiers and his comments is that the Springboks and the nation as a whole get tarred with the same "unsporting" brush as a result of his daft comments! We all KNOW the Aussies are whingers, but that title is starting to pass to South Africans, too! He IS a clown, just needs to wear a red nose and floppy shows.

  • ricahrd - 2010-07-22 23:50

    @Proudly SA. I'm a proud South African, but your comparison shows a frightening amount of ignorance... Mel Gibson is a washed up, alcoholic, has-been movie actor making facile utterences in his private capacity, he is NOT the manager of one of the world's best international rugby teams speaking on behalf of a nation. As a public figure on the world stage, De Villers should act and talk like a mature, educated adult, not some juvenile ignorant cowboy.

  • @proudly SA - 2010-07-22 23:57

    A spade is a spade by any other name.......he is an embarrassment to SA. I thought it was a language issue, maar hy praat K@K in enige taal..........I have heard drunken bergies talk more sense.........He condones dirty play, looks for excuses everytime he loses, has a crappy/boring game plan........oh yes, what game plan.....kick, pray and charge............

  • BLOUBUL - 2010-07-22 23:57

    Shame on Cannon for exposing the world to the truth. Oh wait we discovered this 2 years ago.

  • Gruntfuttock of Africa - 2010-07-22 23:58

    PDV is a typical sub-saharan IQ70. Please let the rest if us enjoy our rugby even when we loose .. difficult.. but you need SA to make up the numbers

  • Taffy - 2010-07-23 00:01

    Right on Brendan! Peter you are a clown and an embarressment. Do the honourable thing and just leave, and take your sidekicks with you.

  • andre carlos - 2010-07-23 00:01

    I can see all these whites ,when the boks loose tghey all jump on the bamn wagon, as a black I totaly agree , Habana,Janauarie Steenkamp en Kirchener they dont deserve the bok jersey, they play awful rugby past their best times and so are some of the other players but have to get this in the bok jersey is just for whites and I think Pienaar can paly about every position so we will see come Saturday, and for those of Jake white fans he was your super coach he did not get the players from another coach he made them what they was today , and you know what that is just white bullshit, rascist bastards

  • Y So Serious? - 2010-07-23 00:02

    He may be a clown but he is our clown! They have no right to belittle him! Thats our job!

  • Nico - 2010-07-23 00:04

    When will you guys realise that this is the first coach that is there for the players and will support them through thick and thin. He may sound embaressing at times but wears his heart on his sleeve. Forget Jake White as there is no way his influence can still be carrying the team. He never created great palyers like Matfield and Smit they were already there and successful in their own franchises.

  • Head Clown - 2010-07-23 00:07

    He's not just the clown. He's the MC at the clown conventions. Die hanswors koning.

  • BMT - 2010-07-23 00:08

    Fox should pull rank and explain to the little twerp who pays the bills in rugby.

  • A Nel - 2010-07-23 00:14

    He must say askies. Gee how can he make such an understatement. PDV is more than a clown. He is the village idiot!

  • Mikey - 2010-07-23 00:15

    Hey, he makes good press, he is a very successful coach, and the players support him. And I myself am annoyed at this constant bias by refs against the boks. So I will support him until results, and FACTS, prove otherwise.

  • Boerboel - 2010-07-23 00:31

    VUILGOED, parasiet en suurstofdief. Dis wat PDV is! Ek kry die bokke baie jammer, hulle verdien baie beter as die ding!

  • Covnvicted! - 2010-07-23 00:34

    All you convicts at the bottom of the world, go home. Oh I am sorry, I forgot you don't have one!

  • LL - 2010-07-23 00:42

    I've always maintained that PdV will show his true coaching colors once the Springbok groot manne start losing form and motivation. Jake White put that team together and PdV has not built or taken the team forward. They're still living in yesterday's game whilst the All Blacks have moved up a notch.

  • Mark - 2010-07-23 00:44

    The guy is a friggin clown. I hope he doesnt apologise. Who wants to hear the Clown embarresing himself and the whole of South Africa.

  • Skaapvang - 2010-07-23 00:47

    He was a political appointment, so what. But did they have to go for the biggest Clown around! I'm predicting Allister Coetzee will be the coach before the end of the year

  • Mark - 2010-07-23 00:51

    I am currently living in Sydney and am ashamed to even waer my springbbok colours and this idiot is a joke. Hi svoice is an irritation and how the hell he was appointed as a coach, god only knows. Get rid of him. We are now taking on the refs with an official complaint. I can only predict the refs been very harsh on the Boks in the world cup next year. Lte us just play rugby and stop complaining.

  • Eddy - 2010-07-23 00:54

    @ Proudly SA: Dude, you are throwing some serious stones yourself, both SA and Aus are amazing places but given the stats on violent crime it's not hard to determine where more bad people live between the two. Let's hope the Boks break the Brisbane duck!!!

  • Divie - 2010-07-23 00:56

    Jake White's team lost 49-0 to Australia prior to the world Cup. Jake White's team won the WC by beating a over the hill understrength English team twice. He never played NZ or Australia and had a terrible record against NZ prior to the WC. Prior to the 2 losses against NZ Div has had the best record as a springbok coach. Lions, Tri-Nations etc. I admit the man is not the best public speaker, but lets look at the facts and stop talking k*k about riding the Jake White wave.

  • BokkeBo - 2010-07-23 00:59

    Why apologise, he is a bloody clown!

  • Joe - 2010-07-23 01:02

    So, what if he IS a clown? Who's gonna apologize to whom?

  • Archibald Ogilvy-Smythe - 2010-07-23 01:11

    Clowns are either funny or scary. PdV is not either, he is just pathetic.

  • Dan - 2010-07-23 01:12

    Foff you Aussie tossers - you belittle a nation not a coach!!

  • fonuatanu - 2010-07-23 01:12

    i keep saying this SA fans, PDV is your PR nightmare. i am seldom certain about things but this one you take to the bank - in 10 years from now you will not remember the great players of this team. despite their great achievements it will always be tarnished by the indiscipline of their leader and coach. there have always been tackful ways of approaching a wrong and trust you me, we all know that there has been a wrong. PDV's lack of finnesse has branded your physical style of play and has made you look pretty cheap. for your sakes, get some else to represent your country, he seems to be doing a great job of belittling his self and you along with it?? when i think of PDV and SA i am reminded of an old man once compared the pretty girl and the ugly boyfriend, to a plate of prime streak with all the trimmings than a bird comes plots a nice dry one on it...hehehehe.. it probably still taste good, but no one wants to touch it...good luck SA!!!

  • Maz - 2010-07-23 01:21

    Time for SA rugby to now leave primary school.

  • Della - 2010-07-23 01:33

    Rugby is just a game its good to loose a game or two but if you always loose like THE Assblacks from New Zealand AND The JAILBIRDS from that dump called Austrichland useless rugby players then you will have to talk crap about the very obvious stronger team from South-Africa. SPRINBOKKE GAAN JULLE NAAI.

  • iza - 2010-07-23 01:37

    @Rusty. Seems the supporters are stupid as well. Its funny how everyone comments on how useless pdiv is: fire him a coach and that he is riding in Jake's glory. Everyone seem to forget that in 2006 tri nations we ended last (won 2 of 6) and in 2007 again last ( won 1 of 4). I can recall the same comments about Jake being made. Everyone agrees pdiv needs to keep quit( and I am not his biggest fan) but to fire a coach before a world cup is typical of narrow minded supporters behaviour....everyone thinks that they themself are a better coach.

  • marco - 2010-07-23 01:46

    Australians like the British does a very good job hiding their true rascist feelings towards people of colour as is the case in PDV.When one does not wise up quick enough about them then you won't see the forest for the trees as it were cause it's that well camouflaged.As the saying goes nobody who claims not to be a rascist really and truly knows if he/she was one until you was put under a severe pressure to prove yourself to be otherwise.When put in a situation where one is put under pressure to show either you are or your not then your true colours starts showing one way or the other.There rascist bigots amongst them,the Aussies and the Brits,as they're liked being called are a lot more subtle in their display then say the Crude & Rude Afrikaners ever were under Apartheid.You need to be quite sharp when socializing with them to realize oh hang on minute mate was that just a rascist comment you was making over there.Everbody enjoys a little bit of banter between workmates or colleagues or friends for that matter but there is certain line that you don't cross and comments like these is one too many I'm afraid and that line which seperates bigotry from pleasantry gets rubbed out.It's one thing calling Mr De Villiers a clown or an ass***e in private conversation but it's quite another for a broadcasting company to do it in public and on national tv.That is just blatant offensive and in very poor taste. The other thing that's always bothers me about Australia is why on earth there is no Aboriginal people playing in their national team?Surely with a population of 750,000 you should have some Indigenous Australians playing in your rugby union national team?They had an all Aboriginal Cricket Team once with Tom Wills as their captain that toured England in December 1866 but today you won't find Ricky Ponting or Mitchell Johnson or anyone else in their team of today playing with some of these people in our modern and free for all society now do you?Then there is the Indigenous All-Stars team which plays rugby league in Australia so then why don't they include these people in there union team or at least develop them if there were any interest shown?

  • OB - 2010-07-23 01:49

    Cannon just said what the whole of SA already thinks (have for some time now) and some are also saying outloud. In fact, I hear it all the time. Pietie "Stemmetjie" De Villiers is a Palooka, finish and klaar!

  • Will - 2010-07-23 01:49

    yes, he is a clown, but so is Cannon. Serious case of pot-kettle-black.

  • Cori - 2010-07-23 01:52

    Ha ha proudly SA you do not know what you are saying and that goes for the convict past as well. As a matter of fact most Aussies are well educated, do not have a convict past and are not drunkards. We are a melting pot of many cultures and anyone who is decent enough with the right skills can become an Australian Citizen. There are those who are racist everywhere in the world including South Africa. South Africa is a really beautiful country mate but you have to check in your own backyard first before you make such statements about Australians. Now the rugby coach in SA is a bit of a clown. In fact I think you can look at your own cartoonist Shapiro and see what he has to say about that! Remember we laugh at everyone even ourselves and that makes us a great nation. You should try it sometime and stop sulking mate

  • ImpartialCanuck - 2010-07-23 01:57

    Mr. de Villiers is the SA coach and needs to be shown respect for the post he holds, but he has a terrible habit of putting his foot in it!! The rest of the rugby world is very concerned about the quality of the SA team that is selected each week, especially when it is glaringly obvious that the selection process appears biased and not merit based. There would be no problem fielding younger players on tour to test combinations etc, but the opposition players want to play the best from SA and can see what a joke this is becoming. Come on SA rugby, look at the situation pragmatically and see what accolades and financial gain a winning team brings! Just look at the Aussies - have been on the slide over the past years and it shows in the ratings, performance and finances....