De Villiers on road back

South Africa centre Jean de Villiers has set his sights on the opening Super 14 match to return to the field from injury. [more]

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South Africa centre Jean de Villiers has set his sights on the opening Super 14 match to return to the field from injury.

De Villiers has been recovering well after being forced home from the World Cup with a bicep injury.

He will miss the Springboks’ tour of Wales and England, but reckons he will be fine in time for the Super 14 which gets under way in February.

"The injury is feeling good. It is coming along nicely. I won’t be available for the tour, but hope to be ready for the Stormers’ first match," he told the Cape Times.

"I will take part in the Stormers’ pre-season training. I won’t be able to do everything, but I will be there. I really want to do well for the Stormers."

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Even though he was not part of the winning side in Paris, de Villiers is still celebrating the Boks triumph.

"I am in the clouds! It is great. The euphoria is still in the air and people all over are still talking about it," he said.

"It is great for the country. We all know what winning the 1995 tournament did for us, but now we see that the 2007 victory has had the same effect.

"I didn’t fly home with the team, but to see all the people coming out to the airport and the support that we have been receiving is fantastic."

De Villiers is not bitter about missing most of the tournament due to his injury.

"It was disappointing not being able to play," he admitted. "It was difficult to deal with, but that’s life.

"To have been there and run on to the field to celebrate with the guys was a great feeling.

"After having worked so hard for four years and seeing everything come together was unbelievable. There was relief, but also excitement.

"I have been part of the set-up throughout this period, so to see the guys become world champions is great. It also has a nice ring to it: world champions!

"It certainly was an emotional occasion for me too. I do still get my gold medal because I played against Samoa, but it is unfortunate to have not played in the other games."

De Villiers claims the main difference between the Boks and England in the final had simply been that "we were the better team".

He added: "We were more clinical in our execution of the game plan, we dominated the line-outs and England didn’t get the upper hand at the scrums.

"I thought we did really well at scrum time. It was very good."

Meanwhile, the Stormers have managed to secure a work permit for Zimbabwean prop Brian Mujati and will sign him on a two-year contract.

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