robdylan

Tragedy as Boks lose their skipper


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, RWC 2015, Springboks on 28 Sep 2015 at 09:02
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Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has been ruled out of the remainder of the World Cup tournament, following a jaw fracture against Samoa. The 34-year-old centre, who has spent the bulk of the last season in rehab after a horror knee injury against Wales last year, announced his retirement from the Test arena when news of the injury broke.

De Villiers has long been suspected of having a sort of “World Cup curse” and this most insidious of bogeys has struck again – ironically against the same foes who curtailed his 2007 tournament. De Villiers first missed a World cup tournament in 2003, destroying his knee ligaments in a meaningless warm up game ahead of the team’s departure; 2007 saw him last just minutes of the opening game (against Samoa) before damaging a bicep. It was ribs that kept him out of the bulk of 2011′s tournament (although he at least didn’t suffer the indignation of having to return injured from that tournament). After successfully completing rehabilitation on his knee earlier this year, de Villiers broke his jaw (on the other side) against Argentina in his only test appearance of the year and again faced a race against time to be fit for the World Cup opener in Brighton.

This year’s campaign lasted just two matches for the likeable skipper and while he may never go down in history as a great World Cup participant, there is very little doubt the de Villiers will always be remembered for his many other great feats in the test arena. He will return to South Africa for an operation and has indicated that while he will not play rugby in the republic again, he may conclude his career with a stint in the UK.

Jan Serfontein has been called up to replace de Villiers, while no announcement has yet been made confirming Victor Matfield as the captain for the remainder of the tournament.

Jean – thanks for all the great memories and all the best for whatever the future holds.



45 Comments

  • Best of luck for the future Capo.

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.09.15 09:13:21 by JarsonX Reply
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  • I’m really sad about how a player like Jean’s international career now ends with loss against Argentina in his last game played in SA and a loss against Japan at the World Cup.

    I’ll remember Jean in his prime combining with Jacque Fourie to form one of SA’s best modern center partnerships.

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.09.15 09:16:51 by vanmartin Reply
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  • So, so unlucky! Jean, we feel for you! All the best for your future…

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.09.15 09:17:21 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Not a huge fan but you have to feel for Jean, Al the best for the future Jean!

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.09.15 09:18:39 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Legend.

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.09.15 09:21:11 by catfish Reply
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  • U wonder if he will still play for his union?

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.09.15 09:23:57 by coolfusion Reply

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  • At his peak, one of the best SA had.

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.09.15 09:25:57 by Letgo Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 2) : It was a legendary combo with Jacque. You always felt safe when those two ran out.
    Real tragedy now. After all the hard work in getting him ready for the wc. He must be totally shattered (no pun intended).

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.09.15 09:31:50 by Blue Centurion Reply

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  • Is it to soon to say what I would like the team to look like?

    I think the most obvious choice is going with the back-line that featured against AUS and NZ in RC, but I would love it if HM used the opportunity to give Lambie and Pollard a run next to each other. Pollard already plays like a 12 (mostly carrying the ball to the contact area, with a good boot, if not tactically astute and a strong pass, if not tactically astute). I feel like we need a kicking center.

    Also while I like Jesse at 13 on attack, he has seemed out of his depth in his last 2 appearances and always was a bit of a concern on defense.

    So the team I’d love to see (but know we won’t) is,

    15. W le Roux, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. D de Allende, 12. H Pollard, 11. B Habana, 10. P Lambie, 9. F Du Preez (C), 8. D Vermeulen (VC), W Alberts/ S Burger, 6. F Louw, 5. L De Jager, 4. E Etzebeth, 3. F Malherbe, 2. B Du Plessis, 1. T Nyakane

    T Mtawarira, J du Plessis, S Britz, V Matfield, S Kolisi, R Paige, J Serontein, J Kriel

    If Jesse and Damian is ready, I asmune HM will start them (he will probably make very few changes to last weeks team). And Jan will probably come in if either of these guys are injured.

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.09.15 09:33:46 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 9) : I doubt either Damian or Jesse can be considered defensive organisers which leaves us with a serious frailty at 13. That’s a role Jean fulfilled for us in Saturday’s game. I think Jan may be our best hope at 13.

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.09.15 09:43:44 by vanmartin Reply
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  • What a legend!

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.09.15 09:58:29 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 10) : Times like this I kinda wish Louis Ludik had been brought into the boks camp 4 years ago.

    Is de jongh injured? He was the guy I’d have brought over. Damian is an outstanding 12 and to me it would make sense maintaining a familiar centre pairing.

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.09.15 10:02:39 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 12) : Isn’t de Jongh injured for the rest of the year?

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.09.15 10:07:31 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 9) : @vanmartin (Comment 10) : De Allende is the best 12 in SA and should remain there with Jan at 13.

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.09.15 10:11:17 by JD Reply
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  • So yet again Samoa ends his World cup!!!!!!!

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.09.15 10:13:05 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 14) : If de Allende is injured, I like the idea of trying out Pollard there with Jan on his outside. It’s risky but it’s mouthwatering and we have an experienced back three that can keep an eye on the young’uns.

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.09.15 10:17:28 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 13) : he is

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.09.15 10:19:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 13) : Ah thanks. Yeah that’s why I asked. Haven’t been following too much of that lately.

    So aside from Jan, do we have any other potential 13′s (specialist 13s that is!).

    Anyone looking like they could push for a Bok jersey post RWC?

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.09.15 10:20:40 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 18) : Mapoe?

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.09.15 10:23:29 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 19) : Mapoe.

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.09.15 10:26:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 18) : JPP?!?!?!

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.09.15 10:34:57 by JD Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 19) : @robdylan (Comment 20) : a lions player ? geez I would be so lucky

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.09.15 11:04:03 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 22) : Yes Mapoe probably a bit unlucky not to make the final squad but before we throw our toys at him not being picked now lets remember he was injured and hasnt played any rugby since then. Serfontein has at least played CC.

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.09.15 11:10:57 by SheldonK Reply

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  • JDV going to play in Japan or England….Wp and stormers career over….

  • Comment 24, posted at 28.09.15 11:44:08 by grant10 Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 23) : Mapoe is playing in Japan

    he also played against nzl for 2 min . and he has not been injured since

  • Comment 25, posted at 28.09.15 12:56:16 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 25) : Has the Japanese league started yet? and is he def playing? We also bemoan the quality of the Jap league so yes he was in a bit of form during super rugby…now however who knows? Form is very relative.

  • Comment 26, posted at 28.09.15 12:59:41 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 26) : not sure . but if it keeps the players away from the CC it should be close .

    but i am aware of the list of excuses that will be used . my twitter is full of them .

    Maybe next year .. the Lions will try again

  • Comment 27, posted at 28.09.15 13:34:18 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 27) : Look Kriel’s performance at centre probably cost both Mapoe and Serfontein a spot at RWC. I dont think Mapoe is doing himself any favours playing in Japan and away from the public eye if he wants to be selected going forward. Going forward i wont say Lions players will def be picked- it all depends if they continue to do well in Super rugby, but also depends how other players are playing.

  • Comment 28, posted at 28.09.15 13:38:46 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 28) : Kriel defense is not great . might attack well but weak on defense .

    Lions players have to play exceptionally well and even then they will most probably be ignored

    Bulls players on the other hand . …

    Congratulations to Gallant and Umlungo with the bok call ups

  • Comment 29, posted at 28.09.15 14:22:03 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 28) : Mapoe played well the whole super rugby season that was closely followed by the rugby public . I struggle to believe playing for the Lions during a watered down cc that is over shadowed by the WC would make any difference

  • Comment 30, posted at 28.09.15 14:25:11 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 30) : I think Mnisi is the best centre in the country,he gets better every week.

  • Comment 31, posted at 28.09.15 14:31:15 by The hound Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 29) : Clearly exaggerating. But also grossly unfair on both Gallant and Ulengo who have been outstanding this CC @Zibbie (Comment 30) : He had a good Super rugby season. I wouldnt say he was outstanding but he was pretty good in the games he played. If anyone Howard Mnisi is the one Lions guy shouting to be picked the loudest.

  • Comment 32, posted at 28.09.15 14:34:23 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 31) : have to punt 1 lions player at a time . otherwise the previous guy gets ignored . Works for the Bulls .

    Pollard (2014)
    Kriel (2015)
    Gallant ? (2016)

  • Comment 33, posted at 28.09.15 14:34:37 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 32) : im not sure the bulls players has been any better than any Lions players man for man .

    Still not sure why Lions players are over looked

  • Comment 34, posted at 28.09.15 14:36:28 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 34) : Are the Bulls guys playing in the CC also not overlooked then? Only Bulls guys in the Bok side…Nyakane,Struass,Matfield,Pollard now Serfontein…have i missed someone? All those seem to be on merit?

  • Comment 35, posted at 28.09.15 15:03:52 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 35) : you missed kriel .

    nah those okes playing in the CC is the boks of next season . after the wc . they will be there . and we will be having this very same conversation again .

  • Comment 36, posted at 28.09.15 15:23:39 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 34) : @SheldonK (Comment 35) : Can I save you two the trouble of a prolonged ping-pong match we’ve all seen before?

    Fact: there are individuals in the Lions squad that can (and some that should) be in the Springbok squad. I don’t think there’s any argument there. The story that the Lions squad is composed purely of highly polished journeymen is absolute rubbish and a myth that needs to be put to bed now. There are quality individuals there. We may differ on a few individuals but will probably agree on the majority.

    Fact: Meyer is a conservative coach who would rather take risks on players he’s coached before, knows well based on reputation or rates in some other way (size of player, whether the player fits into his gameplan, etc…). Where there’s like for like, Meyer will usually once again opt for the players he knows or players who have been capped before (Kriel vs Brussouw, Schalk vs Whiteley). It may even mean playing someone out of position. The Lions suffer the most from this way of thinking because they’ve lagged behind in years past and had few established Boks as a result and they play a brand of rugby that’s too far removed from Meyer’s gameplan. Some call Meyer’s thinking provincial bias but I would argue it’s extreme conservatism. Whatever you want to brand it, don’t get caught up in the semantics. It is what it is and won’t change regardless of whether we agree with it or not.

    In summation: you both have valid points. Lion players deserve to be there but don’t get selected because Meyer is a conservative coach. If Meyer continues on as Bok coach I am confident that Sharks players will be overlooked next (if we continue to fall behind other unions).

  • Comment 37, posted at 28.09.15 15:31:33 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 37) : ja true story . still very sad . but deal with it and move on .

  • Comment 38, posted at 28.09.15 15:39:45 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 36) : hahaha ah i see. I could make some good money if you right. So next Bok captain? obviously from the Bulls ;) but who? I wanna place my bet

  • Comment 39, posted at 28.09.15 15:40:05 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 37) : Yeh valid point but I think most international coaches tend to be conservative in the main. Yeh some may allow for a bit more experimentation but by and large they will go with players proven at that level or ones they know well. Obviously if there is a mass exodus of players and /or retirement a coaches hand is then forced. I guess time will tell…

  • Comment 40, posted at 28.09.15 15:42:29 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 40) : I agree that most international coaches have to be conservative. The degree to which they are and the areas in which they are conservative may differ from coach to coach but yeah, conservatism does seem to come with the territory.

  • Comment 41, posted at 28.09.15 15:45:43 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 39) : adraain strauss :P

  • Comment 42, posted at 28.09.15 15:49:10 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 42) : Now there’s a name worth a bet…

  • Comment 43, posted at 28.09.15 15:53:21 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 41) : I think yes they do tend to be conservative but most test matches are fairly conservative. I think it also depends on the cycle of players coming through at the time. I mean i look at the All Blacks from last world cup to this and its largely the same players…but the next world cup squad will look very different to this one. I think the Boks at next world cup will also look very different

  • Comment 44, posted at 28.09.15 15:56:38 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Good points all – esp about the organisation of the defensive structure. That said there was fear about the organisation of the lineout and someone (Lood)stepped up. For me the leader has to be a guy who goes on for 80 minutes and commands the respect of the players. There are only 2 in that category for me: Francois Louw, Duane Vermeulen. the other contenders come off after 60 minutes. Chopping and changing is disruptive. Let Vermeulen have the reins and allow du Preez to organise the defence.

  • Comment 45, posted at 29.09.15 10:45:23 by charlieharvey Reply

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