Bok captain fights back

Jean de Villiers makes a record-equalling 10th cover appearance for SA Rugby magazine this month.

De Villiers, who first appeared on the cover in November 2003, draws level with another Bok captain, John Smit.

De Villiers suffered a potentially career-ending knee injury against Wales in Cardiff last November. Six months on, he is recovering, and far quicker than anyone could have predicted. If all goes to plan, the Bok centre will return to the playing field in mid-July.

In the new issue of SA Rugby magazine, on sale this week, De Villiers explains what's driving his return and why he's putting himself through such an intense and painful rehabilitation programme.

He reveals how an exchange with Bok forwards coach Johann van Graan, while he was lying on the Cardiff turf, was the turning point for him, and how he gained inspiration from Schalk Burger's incredible comeback.

De Villiers also talks about the work he's been doing with visual skills expert Dr Sherylle Calder, with the aim of improving his reaction time and co-ordination.

Also in the new issue:

– Fourie du Preez remains the Springboks’ best option at scrumhalf

– Ma’a Nonu's outstanding Super Rugby form bodes well for the All Blacks

– Matt Giteau and a straight-running inside centre could be just what Israel Folau needs to make him the hottest fullback in the world

– Director of rugby Rory Duncan on the benefits of the Cheetahs’ relationship with Japanese club Toyota Verblitz and whether it will help to stem South Africa’s player drain to Europe

Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis made massive contributions to the Sharks

Faf de Klerk’s Super Rugby performances have put him in line for higher honours

– In the fifth instalment of a series on Springbok coaches, SA Rugby magazine looks back at Ian McIntosh’s short stint in charge

– After finishing second in the past two World Series, the Blitzboks want to go one better at the Rio Olympics

– SA Rugby magazine selects a Saffas in France XV based on players' club form in the 2014-15 season

– Francois Louw’s experience of northern hemisphere conditions with Bath will benefit the Springboks at the World Cup

– Former Bulls loose forward CJ Stander became the first non-Irishman to win Munster’s Player of the Year award and qualifies to play for Ireland after the World Cup


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