Jean plays down Tipoki rematch

A year ago, Jean de Villiers overdue shift to the midfield by then-coach Gert Smal was literally cut short by a Rua Tipoki punch that split open the Bok centre’s face.

De Villiers will line up opposite Tipoki again on Saturday, but holds that the rematch does not equate to round two.

“There’s two things I can say about Tipoki. He has a good sidestep and a good right hook,” De Villiers told Die Burger.

“However, I’m not here to take revenge. He apologised for the incident last year and I’ve got far more important things to worry about at present.”

De Villiers comment is a masterful understatement. As the playmaker in the Stormers backline, he is responsible for calling the plays and there are rumblings that he overcalls plays to himself, thus rendering the Stormers attacks predictable.

Against the Blues, however, the battle of the backline could well prove decisive. With both forward packs capable and likely to cancel each other out, De Villiers plans to emulate what Tipoki did to the Bulls last weekend and ignite the speed outside him.