De Villiers plays down milestone

While he concedes it's a big moment in his career, Jean de Villiers hopes his 100th Test cap won't distract the Springboks from their task of beating the All Blacks in Wellington.

Bryan Habana joined the 100 club last week when he started against the Wallabies in Perth. In the buildup to that Test, many of Habana's teammates spoke of winning the game for the iconic No 11. There was a feeling that Habana had done so much for South African rugby, and that he deserved to mark his 100th game with a win.

De Villiers is held in equally high regard, and the players will undoubtedly want to mark the legend's 100th game with a win. However, on Tuesday, the Bok captain played down the significance of the milestone in a team context.

The first priority is a win against the All Blacks. The Boks haven't beaten the All Blacks since 2011, and haven't won in New Zealand since 2009. A win this Saturday would be monumental.

'I've done this 99 times before, so you sort of know what to do,' De Villiers told the media in Wellington. 'But obviously there will be a lot of emotion that goes with it.

'I'd like to think that our team will be well prepared and will be highly motivated to make the Bok jersey proud.'

The Bok team will be announced on Wednesday (2am SA time), with De Villiers expected to start in midfield. This Saturday, he will win his 100th cap and join Percy Montgomery, John Smit, Victor Matfield and Habana in an elite South African group.

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

Post by

Jon Cardinelli