De Villiers: We have a responsibility

2015-09-26 08:27
Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Birmingham - Jean de Villiers says the Springboks have a massive responsibility to get their Rugby World Cup plans back on track when they face Samoa here at Villa Park on Saturday (kick-off 17:45 SA time).

The Springbok captain says last weekend’s devastating loss to Japan has been put in the past, but that the South Africans will not forget what happened in Brighton as they prepare for their second match of the tournament.

“We all know how important this game is for our country, the game of rugby, and what happened last weekend did a lot of damage,” De Villiers said on Friday.

“We now have a responsibility to rectify that. We disappointed a lot of people last week and tomorrow we need to stand up. We put ourselves in this position and we need to get ourselves out of this position.”

De Villiers is acutely aware of the criticism aimed at him, coach Heyneke Meyer and the team for that defeat.

“I know he was criticised for selecting me,” said De Villiers.

“But the coach has fully backed me - and the other 22 players for Saturday - so it’s now up to me and my team-mates to perform. I have to show that I deserve this opportunity.”

Former Proteas fast bowler Allan Donald handed out the Springboks’ jerseys earlier on Friday and gave an inspirational message to the team.

Donald, the first South African to reach 300 Test wickets, played a lot of his cricket in Birmingham, for Warwickshire, before retiring and going into coaching.


South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jesse Kriel


15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Paul Perez, 12 Ray Lee-Lo, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Mike Stanley, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Ofisa Treviranus (captain), 7 Jack Lam, 6 TJ Ioane, 5 Iosefa Tekori, 4 Teofilo Paulo, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Sakaria Taulafo

Substitutes: 16 Ole Avei, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 Census Johnston, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Vavae Tuilagi, 21 Vavao Afemai, 22 Tusi Pisi, 23 George Pisi

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