Taking charge

Jean de Villiers believes that an increase in responsibility on the Springboks’ end-of-year tour will bring out the best in him.

Given that a number of youngsters will tour with the Boks this November, the onus will fall on veterans like De Villiers to extract the best from them. His experience of playing in northern hemisphere conditions will be a boon, as will his knowledge of the local talent.

Speaking to SA Rugby magazine, WP backs coach Robbie Fleck says the experience of playing for Munster and living in Ireland has allowed De Villiers to evolve.

‘I’ve noticed the difference in his maturity as a player and as a person,’ says Fleck. ‘This happens when South Africans go overseas and experience a different culture and environment. They change. The way they train and interact with the coaches over there is very different.’

Also in the new issue:

Peter de Villiers is under tremendous pressure to revive the battered Bok brand

Chiliboy Ralepelle has been manipulated to suit various agendas and appease politicians

SA Rugby magazine investigates the lack of black forwards at the highest levels and whether black forwards are genetically smaller than their white counterparts

– All you need to know about the four home unions ahead of the Boks’ end-of-year tour

– Former Free State flank Hendré Fourie toured with England earlier this year. Now he wants to prove a point against the Boks.

– Scotland have become a competitive unit under English coach Andy Robinson

Ireland No 8 Jamie Heaslip wants to attract attention for all the right reasons

Gert Smal on Ireland’s return to Lansdowne Road, taking on the Bok lineout again, and the new law interpretations

– Wales had a disappointing tour to New Zealand this year, but scrumhalf Mike Phillips believes they can still be World Cup contenders

Duane Vermeulen lets his rugby do the talking

Elton Jantjies‘ rugby career has been shaped by his father

Peter Grant on learning Japanese, eating whale and toppling the Bulls

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