De Villiers shrugs off flight scare
July 17, 2011
De Villiers is hoping that his side's recent scare will pull the players together © Getty Images
Springboks coach Peter de Villiers hopes that his side's recent flight scare will have a positive effect on their Tri-Nations campaign.
De Villiers and the rest of the squad were at the centre of a dramatic turn of events on Friday night when their scheduled flight to Australia for the opening leg of the Tri-Nations was forced to turn back due to engine failure. The flight from Johannesburg was forced to return to the OR Tambo International airport after one of the plane's four engines over-heated and subsequently failed less than two hours into the flight.
Consequently, the Boks did not arrive in Sydney until Sunday evening, 31 hours later than they had planned. However, de Villiers insisted that the players had already put the inconvenience behind them.
"We have obviously been disrupted but we have managed it and now we're just looking forward to getting back to preparing for a Test match on Saturday," he said. "That's our only focus now and it'll be good to get back onto the training ground on Monday."
Indeed, de Villiers believes that the whole episode might actually have a beneficial effect on his squad, arguing: "Things like this draw people closer together and hopefully that'll be the effect on this team."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.
"I think the work I do in defence gets spoken of a little too much as it comes at the expense of what I do in attack." Brad Barritt talks to Tom Hamilton