Peter de Villiers says he has been left saddened by Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira’s comments about his tenure as Springbok coach.
In an extract from his autobiography Beast, Mtawarira claimed that De Villiers’ methods were not very effective during his stint as Springbok coach between 2008-11.
Speaking on the Marawa Sports Worldwide radio show on Radio 2000 on Monday evening, De Villiers responded by saying he had given his all to integrate the Zimbabwe-born Mtawarira into the Springbok squad.
‘If you look at how I fought to actually get him citizenship in South Africa, and how I fought to get him to be selected for this team, and how I fought for his teammates to accept him for who he was. It’s sad to listen [to] and see this kind of stuff,’ De Villiers said.
‘Some players weren’t actually happy that he was there, but I could see something in him. I could see that there’s a lot of potential that we have to fulfil. It took hard work and belief to get him there.
‘But, then again, I understand it. I do understand that we allow ourselves to be controlled by either outside forces, or money, or power and all those kinds of things.’
After receiving a backlash over an extract, Mtawarira released a statement clarifying that his comments need to be taken in context.
‘The Beast documents his relationships as they are – multi-dimensional – and while he may be critical regarding some aspects regarding key figures throughout his life, he also shares his experiences with those same individuals that challenge him, and those that built him up and nurtured him throughout his career.
‘A few commentators who have had pre-launch access to the book have honed in on one paragraph, that they interpret as critical of former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers. However, when they focus on a short extract, they fail to provide context within the greater journey of the rugby player.’
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