De Villiers backed by union bosses

Springboks coach Peter de Villiers has been given a firm 'thumbs-up' from his bosses at the end of his first year in charge of the world champions. [more]

De Villiers backed by union bosses

Springboks coach Peter de Villiers has been given a firm ‘thumbs-up’ from his bosses at the end of his first year in charge of the world champions.

South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins told the Sunday Times in South Africa that his review of 2008 with de Villiers and his assistant coaches, Dick Muir and Gary Gold, was “extremely positive”.

With nine wins in 13 Test outings since taking over the reigns from World Cup winning coach Jake White, de Villiers has prepared the way for the 2009 clash with the British & Irish Lions.

Along the way his side posted record victories over Australia (53-8 in Johannesburg) and England (42-6 at Twickenham) – as well as a first win in New Zealand since 1998 (30-28 in Dunedin).

“Listening to what the coaches had to say, I picked up on a very positive vibe going into next year, which was not always the case when we have performed these reviews in the past. I was very impressed by the sessions,” Hoskins of the discussions in Cape Town.

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“There was a willingness to concede where errors were made and a commitment to address those issues in 2009. South African rugby players and referees have again excelled around the globe, allowing us to look forward with excitement and anticipation to a momentous 2009 season when the British & Irish Lions will be here.

“The coach and selectors have built on, and broadened, the World Cup squad with some exciting new talents and re-energised some older ones.

"Rugby’s commitment to underlining the message that ours is a game for all was reflected in the make-up of the Springbok team, which regularly featured six black players in the starting XV in 2008.”

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