Allegations of a plot to disrupt the Springbok side ahead of their first Test against Wales at the weekend surfaced in a Sunday newspaper.
News 24 reports that according to Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Sondag, there was a massive behind the scenes fight, as several attempts to disrupt the squad were thwarted by the Springbok management in the week leading up to the Test.
Bok coach Peter de Villiers was visibly upset at several phone calls that were made and attempts to portray John Smit and Dick Muir as the ones being in charge, while the influence of a former Springbok coach was also mentioned.
Players in the camp, according to the report, spoke to management about it and it emerged that there was an attempt to disrupt the team’s build-up to the Test, which was the first in which De Villiers – South Africa’s first black coach – was in charge of the team.
Other than the phone calls, the timing of the Brian Mujati article in last week’s press – where his father was named as a Zimbabwean land invader – was also questioned and named as part of the plot.
“I find it very strange that all these things have been happening this last week, and in the week we were about to play our first Test,” De Villiers told Sondag.
Springbok captain John Smit, who celebrated his 50th Test as captain on Saturday told the newspaper he understood that the rest of the country was scared of what de Villiers brought to the position.
“I had my reservations as well before I met Peter,” Smit told the newspaper. “I met him the first time when he came to see me about being captain. It was a brave decision at the time and Peter has a determination to prove himself.”
Smit asked his countrymen to give De Villiers a chance.
“He is still an unknown factor for a lot of people. We need to remember that we were used to Jake White’s style of coaching for four years and we didn’t really know what to expect from Peter. He didn’t have a record in the Super 14 – like Jake – and was successful at Under-21 level.
“We haven’t had much time as a team but every day is getting better under Peter. We get a lot more responsibility and anything that isn’t for the good of the team, is thrown out. We are certainly not treated as children.”
The Springboks will want to follow up their 43-17 win in Bloemfontein with a better performance in Pretoria on Saturday.Tweet