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Managing De Villiers


  • 21 Aug 2013
SA Rugby magazine September 2013 SA Rugby magazine September 2013

Jean de Villiers has played a definitive role in the formation of the Springbok team culture and should be looked after to ensure he is available for the 2015 World Cup.

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has played in 31 of the Stormers’ 33 Super Rugby matches over the past two years, writes SA Rugby magazine editor Simon Borchardt. All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, in that same period, has been involved in 12 of the Crusaders’ 36.

De Villiers is contracted to Western Province, which means if the Stormers want to pick him for every Super Rugby match, they can. McCaw, however, is centrally contracted to the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU), which gave him a six-month sabbatical that saw him sit out almost all the Crusaders’ 2013 campaign (he came off the bench late in their two play-off matches).

As a result, McCaw went into the Rugby Championship feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, while De Villiers was expecting to take his number of matches played this year to 23.

De Villiers and McCaw are both 32 years old, and both could make an impact at the 2015 World Cup if they are managed correctly and not played into the ground. But while the NZRU is looking after McCaw, De Villiers is being flogged to death.

Heyneke Meyer has said players should not be rested for Test rugby, which means the Stormers have to put the Springboks first and rest De Villiers at times during Super Rugby. He should also not play at all in the Currie Cup, with Saru compensating Western Province financially for this and regarding it as money well spent.

In the new issue of SA Rugby magazine, chief sports writer Jon Cardinelli looks at the crucial role De Villiers has played in establishing a new Springbok team culture and why he must be managed correctly so that he is still at the helm in two years’ time.

Also in the new issue:

JP Pietersen and how South African rugby will benefit from his stint in Japan

– The Bulls will have to rebuild after losing nine players to overseas clubs

– The Stormers have failed to progress since appearing in the 2010 Super 14 final, and have shown no sign of improving before the 2014 season

– Simon Borchardt column: The new Sharks coaches must not be John Smit’s puppets

– The IRB’s five-minute concussion test is putting players’ health at serious risk

– The French Top 14 is the most lucrative rugby tournament in the world, but the house of cards could come crashing down if clubs don’t curb their spending

– Mark Hinton column: The Chiefs coaches turn good players into a great team

– As Richie McCaw’s remarkable rugby career enters its twilight, Sam Cane stands ready to assume the mantle

– David Campese column: Why Ewen McKenzie deserved to be appointed Wallabies coach

James O’Connor’s off-field antics have placed him in the wilderness. The question is whether the troubled but talented player will find his way back, and how

– Rodrigo Roncero’s retirement has given Marcos Ayerza the chance to make Argentina’s No 1 jersey his own

– Former Bok prop Robbie Kempson on the new scrum laws

– Western Province were the unexpected unofficial champions at the U18 Craven Week in Polokwane

VIDEO: Behind the scenes at the cover shoot and interview

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