South African Rugby
PDV admits Tri-Nations is beyond Boks
July 31, 2011
Peter de Villiers will hope to recall the likes of Bryan Habana for the Test against Australia on August 13 in Durban © Getty Images
Springboks coach Peter de Villiers has conceded that the 2011 Tri-Nations is now beyond his side after suffering two defeats in seven days against southern hemisphere rivals Australia and New Zealand.
Despite leaving 21 players in South Africa for rehabilitation - and insisting in the process that they were not secretly training - the Springboks would have hoped to have asserted themselves better against the Wallabies - where they lost 39-20 - and the All Blacks - where the Boks missed 33 tackles.
Following their 40-7 hammering at the hands of the Kiwis - who were by no means at their imperious best - de Villiers has admitted that his side will put any thoughts of winning the Tri-Nations to one side and focus solely on the forthcoming World Cup.
"Pretty much the Tri-Nations has gone for us. We'll move our focus to preparing for the World Cup," De Villiers said. "The All Blacks are more ready now (than the Springboks) for the World Cup and they deserve the tag of favourites to win it."
De Villiers is unsure over how many of the "Rustenburg 21" will be fit to face Australia on August 13 but it is expected that a host of familiar names - including potentially Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha and Bryan Habana - will take to the field at Kings Park, Durban.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry