Peter de Villiers says one of the Springboks’ biggest weaknesses ahead of the World Cup is the inability to finish.
The Bok coach and CEO Jurie Roux were in Parliament to inform the portfolio committee on sport and recreation about preparations for the World Cup. De Villiers went through some of the team’s strengths and weaknesses, and it was clear that the coach wasn’t happy with the Boks’ attack.
‘We need a killer instinct,’ said De Villiers.
The Boks have based their game on offensive defensive since Jake White was at the helm, and have been especially disappointing on attack over the past two seasons. They were outscored by the Wallabies and New Zealand in the 2010 Tri-Nations, and were again outscored in the recent two matches in Australasia.
De Villiers told the portfolio committee on sport and recreation that he believes experience will be crucial at the tournament, and denied that older players are being picked on sentiment.
A number of players will retire from international rugby or move abroad after this World Cup, and there are players like John Smit who are no longer the best in their position. De Villiers maintains that he has a plan that relies heavily on the older players’ experience.
‘We first decide what we want before we look at the names,’ he said. ‘There has never been a sentimental selection. I am 90% sure that we can bring back the honours of the World Cup.’
On the point of team management and selection over the past four years, De Villiers believes he deserves a massive reward when his tenure comes to an end. ‘I deserve a medal. And a big one too.’
Members of parliament also asked De Villiers and Roux about the training camp in Rustenburg and why the best players weren’t on tour in Australasia. The pair maintained that the camp was used to rehabilitate injured players, and say they have medical certificates to prove the veracity of their claims.
‘I could not go against the guy [medical doctor], whom I pay a lot of money for his opinion, and say I don’t need your opinion,’ said De Villiers.
‘Next year people will forget two losses but for four years people will remember who the champion of the world is.’
The MPs argued that the two performances had brought dishonour to the Bok badge and that their are serious doubts that the Boks will perform at the World Cup. Roux moved to allay those concerns.
‘I understand the emotion of losing to New Zealand. That’s their fortress and that’s why they perform, vigilantly. We want the Springboks to win all the time but the truth is we only win 64% of the time,’ Roux said.