Peter the puppet

Former All Blacks prop Craig Dowd has questioned Peter de Villiers’s rugby knowledge and labelled him a “puppet”.

Dowd told Newstalk ZB in New Zealand he has doubts over De Villiers’s rugby credentials, and that if the coach knows anything about rugby, he hasn’t seen it yet. Dowd believes the Springboks have some good support staff, but thinks De Villiers is simply a “puppet”.

Dowd has joined a group of experts (including Gary Teichmann and Robbie Kempson) who disregarded De Villiers’s rant that the All Blacks’ front row used “illegal” tactics in the scrums in Wellington. Dowd dismissed the claims of underhanded scrum tactics, saying De Villiers knows nothing about the front row.

In reaction to Dowd’s comments, the South African Honorary Consul in New Zealand, Gregory Fortuin, called on the former Auckland prop to apologise.

Fortuin acknowledged Dowd’s respect as an All Black and his abilities as a prop, but found the comments offensive. Fortuin said it was up to Saru to defend De Villiers’s rugby credentials, which include both club and international age-group success.