Former Springboks assistant and Wallabies boss Eddie Jones has turned up the heat on beleaguered South African rugby coach Peter de Villiers, describing his much maligned new gameplan as “nonsense”.
Jones was a member of former Boks coach Jake White’s staff when South Africa won the World Cup in France last year.
SuperRugby reports that his comments come amidst rumours of disunity and confusion among the South African players, and after De Villiers, the first black man to coach the Springboks, was booed loudly by Durban fans after Sunday’s 27-15 loss to Australia, reports the NZ Herald website.
“The Springboks will get worse if they continue in this way,” Jones told English newspaper the Independent.
“Mate, no one in world rugby is playing the way their coach is talking about, not successfully anyway.
“Everyone has discipline, policies and a procedure in their game. The way he is talking is nonsense. You can’t just play an expansive, wide game.
“This is still a very good squad of players. Most are even at their peak or approaching it. So there is plenty of talent but what they need is the organisation and discipline.
“The hard thing for Peter is that he has never coached professionally and this is one of the most difficult teams to coach.
“They’re attacking off everything. And they’re going lateral, not through defences. You have to go through sides like Australia and New Zealand first.
“But he has to change his philosophy because it doesn’t fit these players. It’s not credible.
“Peter’s big test now is to learn. If he learns, he can turn it around. But if he continues to be stubborn, he won’t last long because his tactics won’t work.”
De Villiers has accepted responsibility for the Springboks’ slide since winning last year’s Rugby World Cup which has resulted in them winning just one of their five Tri-Nations games.
“If a company is doing badly, then you blame the managing director, so it is right and fair that the coach be held responsible,” De Villiers told reporters in Johannesburg.
“I know people are angry and rightfully so.”
But he also claimed the Boks were the better side at Absa Stadium.
“We should have won, the opportunities were there but we just let them slip,” he said.
“I’m not going to panic because, having watched the video again, I saw how great we played.
“Decision-making in split seconds is new to the guys and it has been a bit worrying. The onus is now on the players, but they want to be in a confined group where they are comfortable.”
South Africa clash with Australia at Ellis Park in the second test on Saturday and a loss there to the Wallabies for the first time in 45 years, would have De Villiers under enormous pressure.
Winger JP Pietersen was ruled out Monday with a hamstring strain and Odwa Ndungane was called into the squad as his replacement.
Hooker Bismarck du Plessis (knee) and captain Victor Matfield (groin) are in some doubt but flying winger Bryan Habana is an outside chance of recovering from a hamstring injury.Tweet