Springbok inside centre Jean de Villiers has informed bosses at Irish club Munster that he intends to return to South Africa at the end of the current northern hemisphere season. Having missed out altogether on the 2003 World Cup and played less than half an hour of the 2007 tournament, de Villiers is committed to regaining his Bok place ahead of the 2011 tournament.
De Villiers, having consulted his namesake Peter, the Springbok coach, as well as others in SARU, will know that he needs to be based in South Africa and playing regularly for a local outfit to be considered for the Bok World Cup squad. Although Monster have confirmed that the blonde centre will be leaving them, there has, as yet, been no confirmation about which local side de Villiers will join.
De Villiers has only ever represented Western Province and the Stormers and one would think that his return to the Cape may well be a bit of a no-brainer. I have picked up a number of rumours, though, to the effect that there is little love lost between de Villiers and WP Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus. The pair, according to the talk, don’t see eye to eye and this may persuade the player to look elsewhere while Erasmus continues to rule at Newlands. Since Wynand Olivier is the Bok incumbent 12, it would make little sense for de Villiers to consider Pretoria and the Bulls, while the Cheetahs would be nowhere near able to meet the player’s wage demands. That leaves only the Sharks and possibly the Lions as potential options, should de Villiers opt not to return to the Cape.
For the Sharks, landing a player of de Villiers’ calibre would be a godsend, given their lack of experienced options at inside centre. Dick Muir, though, would love to have him in Joburg too and a lot may end up depending on which side is prepared to pay more to lure this big fish into their camp.Tweet