Springboks concern over De Villiers
September 11, 2011
Springboks centre Jean de Villiers is wrapped up during Sunday's win over Wales © Getty Images
South Africa are sweating on the fitness of Jean de Villiers after the centre was forced off in Sunday's World Cup clash with Wales in Wellington.
De Villiers took a blow to his ribs and was replaced just 24 minutes in by Butch James. Springboks head coach Peter de Villiers admitted that his namesake's availability for the rest of the tournament is a major cause for concern. "I am very worried about him," he said. "We will do a full assessment after 24 hours."
The Boks boss has more pressing issues, though, with his side turning in a distinctly unimpressive displayer in their tournament-opening 17-16 victory over the Welsh. The reigning champions had started promisingly, taking the lead three minutes in with a try from Frans Steyn.
However, they were dominated in the third quarter as Wales came storming back to move 16-10 ahead courtesy of Toby Faletau's converted touchdown. The Boks showed impressive character in managing to turn the game around, Francois Hougaard crossing for the game's decisive score shortly after coming on as a replacement, but the fightback did not paper over the cracks of a disjointed display.
"We came to win the first game and we achieved that goal. Our bench went on and made the difference, that's why they were there," he said.
"It wasn't a rugby test. I call it a test of character. At the start, Wales flooded the breakdowns and never allowed us to get going."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
After Brian O'Driscoll's emotional final Ireland appearance on home soil, and seeing the Six Nations boil down to a three-horse race, we bring you the Weekend in PIctures
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year