De Villiers to re-apply for Springboks post
November 4, 2011
De Villiers insists he has some unfinished business with the Springboks © Getty Images
South Africa coach Peter de Villiers has announced he intends to re-apply for his position when his current tenure comes to an end next month.
The outspoken 54-year-old appeared to resign in the wake of his side's Rugby World Cup quarter-final loss to Australia last month but later stopped short of drawing a line under his four years in charge. SARU chief executive Jurie Roux subsequently confirmed that De Villiers' contract, along with those of the Boks' coaching, medical and logistical staff, expires at the end of the year and that appointments for the next campaign would not be concluded until then.
Recent reports have suggested that Western Province and Stormers coach Allister Coetzee was favourite to take over the Springboks hotseat with WP director of rugby Rassie Erasmus, apparently earmarked for a similar role in the national set-up having acted as a technical advisor during the recent World Cup.
Erasmus has since ruled himself out of the running for the De Villiers' position as have a number of other candidates including former Bok coaches Nick Mallett and Jake White as well as ex-Bulls boss Heyneke Meyer. But De Villiers remains hungry to fulfil the role insisting he "loves to serve his country".
"Not winning the World Cup makes me feel like there is unfinished business, that the story isn't finished," he told Supersport. "So if they call for applications for the Springbok job I will definitely apply for it. Why not? I have enjoyed doing the job and it was a privilege for me to serve my country. If I apply and my application is not accepted that is fine, I will accept what is good for South African rugby and move on. The next coach will have my full support."
As for his side's failure to make the World Cup semi-finals, he added, "I don't want to make excuses. We got knocked out and as I said when we got back from overseas, a quarter-final defeat wasn't good enough and we failed the nation. But what was so frustrating was that we appeared to be peaking at the right time, and there was still room for further growth. I feel the story has been left unfinished.
"I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but you learn from those mistakes, and I believe that I have learned sufficiently that if I was to get a chance to do it again, I wouldn't make those same mistakes again.
"When you first take the job there is so much that is new, there is so much you have to get used to in terms of international rugby and the Springbok culture. I believe I have something to offer, but that would be up to Saru to decide. I am just saying I am available and will apply for the job if applications are asked for. I love serving my country."
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