Peter de Villiers, whose last Bok XV had just three players of colour, says the current Bok team, which also has three, is too white.
Speaking to Ballz Radio on Monday, De Villiers lashed out at Heyneke Meyer’s apparent lack of interest in selecting players of colour.
‘It’s just the little things that bother me,’ said De Villiers. ‘We need to know in what country we do live. And at this moment we are turning a lot of black people against ourselves by making the team white and nobody will talk about these things but I just have to. And that is what … actually we’re breaking up our country again. We’re turning all the black support against the Springboks. Wherever I go I hear people talking negative about the Springboks.’
Ironically, though, Meyer selected three players of colour for the Test against the All Blacks in Dunedin (Beast Mtawarira, Bryan Habana and Zane Kirchner), the same number that De Villiers selected for the 2011 World Cup quarter-final against the Wallabies (Gurthro Steenkamp, Habana, and JP Pietsersen).
De Villiers told Ballz Radio that Gio Aplon, Juan de Jongh and Chiliboy Ralepelle were black players he feels could make a difference, yet Aplon started just three Tests in 2011 (one of which was against Namibia at the World Cup), De Jongh two (he came off the bench twice at the World Cup against Fiji and Namibia), and Ralepelle none (all three of his appearances last year were off the bench, including one against Namibia at the World Cup). In the four years that De Villiers was coach, Ralepelle started just two Tests at hooker, in the dead rubber against the British & Irish Lions at Ellis Park in 2009 and against Italy in Witbank in 2010.
The fact is that De Villiers’s transformation record as Bok coach is no better than Meyer’s.