Springbok coach Peter de Villiers may not have been able to take much out of his side's 36-7 win over a Namibian Invitation XV in Windhoek last night, but there was one major boost for him ahead of the three Test Castle Series against the British & Irish Lions.
There were five tries for the South African XV and the one that brought the biggest smile to the face of the coach came from his namesake, Jean de Villiers.
The 2008 South African Player of the Year was forced to miss the final three rounds of the Super 14 tournament with the Stormers after a nasty groin injury that forced him to spend the past month on the sidelines.
Losing his most potent midfield weapon would have been a huge blow for the Springbok coach, but he came through his first game back with no problems and ran in the last try to prove he is back in one piece.
"I've done some proper rehab work, the injury has healed and I feel good," admitted jean de Villiers.
The pumped-up Namibian side, bolstered by a number of Super 14 players and Springboks, were good value for their one point deficit in a first-half that ended 8-7 to the visitors.
A penalty from Peter Grant and the first of two tries from Sharks wing Odwa Ndungane put the South African XV ahead, but a try from skipper and pro Kees Lensing just before the break got the 12,000 crowd at the Hage Geingob Stadium jumping up and down.
A 50 metre break from Sharks No 8 Ryan Kankowski paved the way for Ndungane's second try and then back row star Juan Smith, lock Johan Muller and de Villiers turned the game into a comfortable victory. Earl Rose added three conversions in the second half to complete the scoring.
Peter de Villiers will announce his squad to tackle the Lions on Monday night. That group will include players from the Bulls, who chase a second Super 14 title in three seasons when they host the Chiefs in the final at Loftus Versfeld tonight.