Braced for battle

Watch out Sonny Bill Williams, the best is yet to come from Jean de Villiers.

After Williams and De Villiers’s first meeting, in the Super Rugby match at Newlands in May, Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder declared the midfield spoils shared. However, that didn’t prevent an avalanche of post-match analyses and comments on what the perceived outcome of this particular battle portended for the World Cup.

‘I didn’t pay attention to what was being said in the media,’ says De Villiers, in the new issue of SA Rugby magazine, on sale Wednesday. ‘For me it was just another big game. Sonny Bill is a good player, but you can’t get hung up on personal battles because you don’t go up against your opposite number in every single situation. There are so many other things to worry about. You have to trust in the guy next to you and work together to beat the opposition.’

In the same article, Stormers backline coach Robbie Fleck talks about the little changes that De Villiers has made to his game since returning from Ireland that have made a big difference, while former Wales centre Scott Gibbs explains why De Villiers is not being used properly by the Stormers or Boks.

Also in the new issue:

Rassie Erasmus will give the Springboks a technical edge. SA Rugby magazine finds out exactly what his role entails

– Nothing much changes for the All Blacks when it comes to the Tri-Nations, even when the bigger prize hovers just beyond its conclusion

Sonny Bill Williams on his trademark offload, facing Jean de Villiers, and his love for boxing

– Robbie Deans believes Australia’s improved playing depth will allow the Wallabies to adopt a squad system in this year’s Tri-Nations

Matt Giteau on why teams will take the Tri-Nations seriously, Jake White’s appointment as Brumbies coach, and signing for Toulon

Os du Randt speaks out: ‘They used that late-night incident as an excuse to get rid of me … Peter [de Villiers] and Saru don’t deserve to be a part of any World Cup success’

– The Springbok Sevens were full value for their World Series tournament wins in London and Edinburgh

– New Sharks signing Marius Joubert has become a thinking midfielder

– The Pampas XV overcame unique obstacles to win the Vodacom Cup

Robert and Sias Ebersohn on life, loyalty and the Springboks

– Six years ago, Ryand Hattingh had his neck broken in a schools match after his opponent used an illegal scrumming manoeuvre. SA Rugby magazine reveals how, in a landmark court ruling, the latter was made liable for damages

Schalk Brits was the best hooker in the 2010-11 English Premiership and should go to the World Cup with the Springboks

– Leinster hooker Richardt Strauss on winning the European Cup and why he wants to play for Ireland

– What happened to McNeil Hendricks?

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