On Saturday evening, Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus made special mention of Jean de Villiers’s excellent captaincy in this year’s Super14 rugby series.
“Jean is the only player that played every minute of every game…without being injured. That is positive and I hope he can now do the same for the Boks,” said Erasmus.
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that De Villiers has been very unlucky with injuries in the past. He missed the 2003 World Cup tournament because of injury, and in last year’s RWC tournament he tore an arm muscle in South Africa’s first match against Samoa.
While he could not share in the joy of South Africa’s victory in the final as a player, he played an extremely important part in the Stormers’ largely impressive Super 14 campaign this year.
In the process he showed that he can still make his mark in a big way in Springbok rugby. On Saturday evening he was one of 12 Cape players to be included in Bok coach Peter de Villiers’s training squad.
The others are his centre partner Gcobani Bobo, Tonderai Chavhanga (wing), Isma-eel Dollie (flyhalf), Peter Grant (flyhalf), Ricky Januarie (scrumhalf), Conrad Jantjes (fullback), Andries Bekker (lock), Schalk Brits (hooker), Schalk Burger (flank), Brian Mujati (tighthead prop) and Luke Watson (eighthman).
Dollie played only in the Vodacom Cup series this year, and his inclusion in the Bok squad is probably due to the fact that the Sharks have gone through to the semi-final round of the Super14 series and that players like Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn have, therefore, not been considered at this early stage.
Nevertheless, his selection of Dollie is an indication that the Bok coach foresees a bright future for him.
That Jean de Villiers will be a senior player can surely be assumed to be a formality following his superb performances in the Super 14.
No one would argue against the inclusion of Watson, who was controversially added last year. He thoroughly deserves his place, as does Brits, who was also overlooked under Jake White’s coaching.
Bekker also had an excellent Super14, but could report at the the Bok training camp with an ankle injury on Wednesday.Tweet