Jean backs Bok midfield

On the road to recovery, Test star Jean de Villiers encourages Springbok supporters to give our guys a chance in the Vodacom Tri-Nations.

“It’s hard with the new combinations,” De Villiers told keo.co.za. “We’ve suffered from injuries and people need to understand that we don’t have the depth that the New Zealanders and the Australians do.

“The guys need some time to get used to playing together. Both Wynand [Olivier] and Jaque [Fourie] are quality players, but as a combination they need more time on the pitch.”

The midfield was in disarray in Brisbane, where the Wallabies cut the line at will and referee Paul Honiss penalised the rush defence out of the game for offsides. Wellington was slightly better, with the new line-up of Butch James, Olivier and Fourie limiting the All Blacks in the set pieces.

“The Australia game was a huge disappointment, but it has to be said that nothing went our way,” explains De Villiers.

“There was a marked improvement against the All Blacks. We just made some crucial mistakes that cost us dearly. And if Monty had made those kicks, it could have been a very different story.”

The blonde playmaker suffered a rib injury in the first Test against Scotland on June 17 but recently returned to training with Vodacom Western Province. It will be a couple of weeks before he can take any contact.

“I’ve been practising with WP since last week. It’s great to be up and running rather than lazing around the house,” he said.

Although De Villiers is training with the side, he is unlikely to play any games for Province. When he is fully fit he will be fast tracked straight back into the national set up, which should be just in time for the home leg of the Vodacom Tri-Nations.

By Jon Cardinelli