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De Villiers to remain as Springbok chief

The outspoken and sometimes controversial coach will keep command until the 2011 Rugby World Cup at the very least.

Peter de Villiers cut a forlorn figure as Ireland defeat his World Champion Springboks lost in Croke Park last November.
Peter de Villiers cut a forlorn figure as Ireland defeat his World Champion Springboks lost in Croke Park last November.
Image: INPHO/James Crombie

THE SOUTH AFRICAN Rugby Union has extended the tenure of Peter de Villiers as the head coach of the Springboks until the 2011 Rugby World Cup at the very least, following a meeting of the board earlier today.

The outspoken and often controversial coach had been under fire after winning only five of the Springboks’ ten matches in 2010 so far, including a solitary win against Australia in this year’s Tri Nations, but has been given the green light to remain in control for the Autumn internationals and the build-up to the World Cup in New Zealand next Autumn.

He had also taken the helm over a dreadful Autumn internationals series last year, which had seen the side beaten in Dublin for the third time in succession.

SARU vice-president James Stoffberg said the meeting with de Villiers was “frank… but positive” and said that de Villiers was considered the best man to lead the charge to retain the William Webb Ellis Cup, a feat not yet achieved.

De Villers’ penchant for hard-hitting and legally questionable rugby has often landed him in hot water. After flanker Schalk Burger was found guilty of eye-gouging Irish winger Luke Fitzgerald during the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa last summer, he said:

Why don’t we go to the nearest ballet shop, get some tutus, and get a dancing shop going? No eye-gouging, no tackling, no nothing – and we will enjoy it!

South Africa remain third-favourites to win the 2011 tournament at 11/2 with Betfair, while New Zealand are almost even-money favourites.

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Gavan Reilly

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