De Villiers to stay at Springboks helm

Peter de Villiers will remain as South Africa coach until at least the end of the next year’s World Cup, after a meeting with his employers in Johannesburg.

Peter de Villiers will remain as South Africa coach until at least the end of the next year’s World Cup, after a meeting with his employers in Johannesburg.

The under-fire Springboks boss had faced mounting criticism in the wake of a mediocre 2010 campaign in which the world champions lost five out of 10 Test matches.

All those defeats came in the recently concluded Tri Nations where the team, who were defending their title, turned in their worst display in the competition’s 15 year history.

But the South African Rugby Union (SARU) confirmed the talks were positive, with all the focus now shifting towards helping the coach turn around the team’s fortunes.

“It was a frank meeting but a positive one,” James Stoffberg, chairman of SARU’s rugby committee and vice-president of the union said.

“The results of the Springbok team are of paramount importance to our organisation and everyone in the room was committed to providing the team with the best conditions in which to succeed.”

It was also expected that De Villiers’ off-field behaviour would be examined during the meeting after several remarks in recent months had landed him in hot water.

Comments about referees during the early part of the Tri Nations saw him hauled before a SANZAR hearing, while more recently he showed support for Bees Roux - the Bulls player arrested and charged with the alleged killing of a Pretoria policeman.

Stoffberg did not disclose the exact details of their discussions, but added: “The committee’s focus was very much on examining areas where we can assist the Springbok team and coach in making sure they arrive at the field in the best possible state of preparation.

“We reviewed the season to date and have discussed options for assisting the team in those preparations.”

South Africa face a gruelling Grand Slam tour to Europe later this year, which begins with a Test against Ireland in Dublin on November 6.

De Villiers added: “It was a very helpful process as we have thoroughly reviewed all our systems.

“We know there are areas in which we must improve and we will be focusing on those in the remainder of the season.”

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox