Jean on being the best

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers says beating the All Blacks will make the Boks statistically No 1 but not yet the best rugby team in the world.

De Villiers, playing the All Blacks for the 20th time, stressed that the Boks’ pursuit of being the best rugby team in the world would start with victory in Auckland against the All Blacks. It would not be the completion of the challenge.

De Villiers acknowledged the achievement would be a nice one to have, that of being ranked No 1 in the world, but he said for South Africa to be spoken of in the same breath as New Zealand the team would have to go on and consistently be No 1, which meant winning at home and away and consistently beating the All Blacks.

De Villiers told SA Rugby Mag’s Jon Cardinelli: ‘We’re up against one of the best sides of all time, and having not won at this ground for a long time, it’s going to be a massive challenge.

‘I’m proud of how far we’ve come. There’s a lot of confidence and belief that we can do something special this Saturday, but then I’m sure a lot of teams have felt that way before playing at Eden Park.

‘The reality is we’re playing against a team that doesn’t lose too often, and on a ground where we haven’t won for 76 years. To win, we have to make zero mistakes. The bounce of the ball will have to go our way.

‘You don’t lose one game and suddenly become a bad side. They’ve achieved a lot over the past few years. You only become the best in the world by beating teams consistently. That journey starts for us tomorrow.’

De Villiers has won eight Tests against the All Blacks and has scored the quickest try in New Zealand against the All Blacks, his score in Christchurch in 2004 coming 27 seconds into the match.