Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok captain Jean de Villiers spoke briefly on how difficult it was for the players to come to terms with the wave of recent attacks on the team.
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Speaking at the Rugby World Cup squad announcement, De Villiers says it puts increased pressure on the team.
“From a player point of view it’s been tough. For me it was tough losing that game to Argentina having waited so long to play again. And a lot happened in that week,” De Villiers said.
“I think in a way it made us stronger as a squad. And we learned from those obstacles. I saw how much we’d grown as a squad. When you saw the emotions of those who made and didn’t make it. We’ve become closer together.
“There will always be critics, and I think it’s because people want the Boks to do well. And that’s good if it’s coming from the heart. I’m open to that. Once you lose interest in Bok team, then we are in trouble.”
Forwards: Willem Alberts, Schalk Brits, Schalk Burger, Lood de Jager, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Victor Matfield (vice-captain), Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss, Duane Vermeulen
Backs: Jean de Villiers (captain), Damian de Allende, Fourie du Preez, Bryan Habana, Zane Kirchner, Jesse Kriel, Pat Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lwazi Mvovo, Rudy Paige, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Handre Pollard, Morne Steyn
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