De Villiers handed vote of confidence
July 27, 2010
Springboks coach peter de Villiers has been given a vote of confidence by his South Africa Rugby Union bossess © Getty Images
Peter de Villiers has been given a vote of confidence by his employers at the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and assured that his job is safe.
The Springboks boss has faced a barrage of criticism in the wake of a dismal run of three straight defeats that have all but ended their hopes of defending the title they won in impressive style last year. De Villiers also courted controversy during the trip by criticising the referees who took charge of his side's back-to-back defeats at the hands of the All Blacks.
He was later forced to issue a statement to clarify comments that appeared to suggest that New Zealand were being favoured by referees to ensure public support for next year's Rugby World Cup. SARU have also been forced to quash reports of a rift within the management team that surfaced on the team's return to South Africa.
The 53-year-old De Villiers is due to meet with senior SARU officials in the next 48 hours to discuss the tour to New Zealand and Australia, but ahead of the talks he has been given full backing. "There is a lot of wrong that needs to be made right after the bad start to the Tri-Nations," SARU president Oregan Hoskins told Business Day. "But that doesn't mean that we don't support the coach. We are meeting the coach to hear what went wrong and what needs to be done going forward But again, he has our full backing."
Meanwhile, the world champions have been hit by a further injury setback after news that lock Andries Bekker is likely to miss the remainder of the season. The Stormers forward is to undergo surgery after a recurrence of a back problem, which will keep him out for up to four months. Bekker joins scrum-half Fourie du Preez and flanker Heinrich Brussow on the sidelines.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September