Cape Town - The All Blacks have taken note of comments made by former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers regarding a potential weakness among the Kiwis.
In a column written for Kwese Sports late last month, De Villiers says he believes there is a weakness in New Zealand rugby which the Springboks can look to exploit in this year’s Rugby Championship.
De Villiers, who coached the Springboks between 2008 and 2011, has been keeping an eye on this year’s Super Rugby competition and he believes he has spotted a potential frailty among the Kiwi sides.
“Looking at Super Rugby, the All Blacks may be ripe for the picking in 2017 unless they improve their discipline,” De Villiers wrote.
“The All Blacks were the leaders in how they handled the off-the-ball situations, the little scuffles. They never let opponents get under their skin. But in this year’s Super Rugby competition it’s been quite noticeable to see how easy they can be drawn into things off the ball that have nothing to do with the game.”
READ: Div spots potential weakness in NZ rugby
The Kiwis have taken note, with the All Blacks posting a story about De Villiers' comments on their official website, as well as sharing it on their social media accounts.
They asked their fans to respond whether they agreed with De Villiers.
During his tenure as Springbok coach, De Villiers won five out of 11 Tests against the All Blacks - a better record than most Bok coaches in recent times.
In comparison, Heyneke Meyer won only one out of eight Tests against the All Blacks.
Other notable achievements for De Villiers as Bok coach was a Tri-Nations win in 2009, as well as a series win over the British and Irish Lions that same year.
De Villiers was the director of rugby at the University of the Western Cape between 2012 and 2015, but has since struggled to find work in rugby.