KSA Shark ©

PdV – I will have to be honest with the players

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Bulls, In the news, Springboks, Super Rugby, WP on 18 Apr 2011 at 18:09
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South Africa’s most experienced Springboks are currently struggling with their form. The Rugby World Cup is still a long way off, but Springbok coach, Peter de Villiers, believes he is going to make some hard choices if the situation does not improve soon.

Adnaan Mohamed reports for News 24 that the Springbok captain, John Smit, has been rotating between tighthead and loosehead prop for the Sharks in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition and has struggled to find his feet in either position. De Villiers says he has made it clear that he is only looking at Smit as a hooker.

“John has been playing at loosehead and tighthead for the Sharks. We already have loosheads like Gurthrö Steenkamp and Beast Mtawarira and tightheads, Jannie du Plessis and CJ van der Linde to choose from.

“I am only going to consider John for the Springbok side if he plays at hooker. I am going see John Plumtree (the Sharks coach) on Monday to speak to him about the matter,” De Villiers said in an exclusive interview.

The Bulls have now suffered consecutive losses to the Reds (39-30) and the Crusaders (27-0) on the overseas leg of their tour. They were also beaten by the Highlanders (35-28) and Stormers (23-13) at fortress Loftus in Pretoria.

The problem is that their most experienced players like experienced Bok-locks Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha are not firing at the moment. Pierre Spies has been a shadow of himself at number eight and the halfback pairing of Fourie du Preez and Morné Steyn have not set the world alight either.

Based on talent and experience alone these players should form the core of the Springbok side to retain the William Webb Ellis trophy in October later this year in New Zealand.

De Villiers admits that if these players do not come good soon, he is going to faced with some hard choices.

“We all know the saying form is temporary and class is permanent. But the core of the Bok team has always been from the Bulls team. If there two players in the Bulls side that are not pulling their weight, the whole team suffers as a consequence and the ship sinks.

“Fourie du Preez for example has not played much rugby in the last six months and it’s not easy for him to get back to his best so soon.

“I however feel that many of the players, who are currently not playing to their potential, have personal problems.

“It is essential that we have a cut-off date to determine when these players will turn things around. We will have to monitor them closely and deal with it,”’ he said.

De Villiers is also concerned about the indifferent form of experienced Bok winger Bryan Habana, who is battling to regain the form that made him player of the tournament at the 2007 World Cup.

“I hope he gets back to his best soon because he is an inspiration to any team when he is at his best. Everybody goes through a bad patch in their careers at one stage or another.

“One just has to be thankful to Western Province for standing by him and supporting when things are not going his way.

“If you look at how people are writing him off, any player will pick up problems. The harder you try to prove people wrong, the more difficult it becomes for him to regain his form,” explained De Villiers.

“But I will have to reach a stage where I will have to be honest with the players. My biggest challenge is to know when a guy has had enough, when he is past his best and is simply not good enough anymore.”

The Bok coach confirmed he will be announcing a provisional Springbok training squad for the World Cup consisting of 49 players at the Boland Stadium in Wellington on Wednesday.


  • I like what he’s saying, I just hope he follows through with it.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.04.11 18:10:24 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Looking at the form of some of the top Boks I am worried for the world cup. Divvy needs to make the hard choices but does he have enough gumption to follow through?

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.04.11 19:05:00 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • @lostfish (Comment 2) : That is the question. Is he just paying lipservice and then selecting the same old same old? I hope not.

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.04.11 19:12:10 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • If he now says he is only going to pick John at hooker is he going to be fine with benching john in the world cup? There is a hole bunch of players playing their hearts out while the big names are on cruise controll and awaits their call to the wc.

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.04.11 19:17:51 by franshark Reply
  • Players like willem alberts, andries bekker are playing much better than the first choice boks. Even petoors the scrummie is doing better than his counterparts at the moment

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.04.11 19:24:10 by franshark Reply
  • the 49 players on Wednesday is virtually anybody and everybody, so there should be quirwe a few surprises in there. but I wouldn’t read toooooo much into the squad.

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.04.11 19:26:07 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I think this will be all show and no go from Pdiv. But I seriously badly want him to mean what he said in that interview.

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.04.11 19:29:06 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I don’t see PDV diverting from his plan, it’s too late! He picked his squad ages ago. The media has also successfully convinced him of this myth called loss of form. How come the Aussies and All Blacks don’t suffer from this loss of form myth? When we beat Aussie and NZ teams it’s because we’ve played better than them and not because they can’t catch, kick, pass, are slow, stick to one game plan. If guys train properly, are fit, are coached well by a coaching staff which is proactive and not reactive etc., they won’t become useless over night.These “out of form” guys have become old and their competitors are young, hungry and most all have the experienced. The Bulls’ game plan for eg. is based on strength,it worked when their competitors were still young and didn’t have the strength to match them (Matfield and Hargreeves). PDV took a gamble and didn’t build a team that would peak in 2011 or work on a game plan that would give us our best chance. He invested in a team that would at best maintain the same standard. Well, other players have now fully developed and are able to defend against a player or a game plan that is primitive. My concern is that this myth is going to confuse PDV especially if a Matfield for example has one good game towards the end of the competition, PDV will be convinced that the form is back and overlook a Bekker, Hagreeves or Mostert. Wish PDV could read the rule book, decide on a solid game plan and pick players that can implement that game plan. Not look at which team is winning most of their games and picking most of the players from that team…that doesn’t work. PDV, don’t forget to be honest with yourself as well mate.

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.04.11 19:51:34 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • The Bok Experiment!!!!
    15. Jaque Fourie
    13.J de Jong
    12.J de villiers
    11. B Habanna

    10.Butch J
    9.F du Preez



    1.Guthro stEenkamp

    16.R Piennar
    17.Paul Jordaan
    18.F Steyn
    19.F Hougard
    20. Bakkies
    22.Jannie du plessis

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.04.11 23:34:47 by BoerSeun Reply

  • I’ll believe it when I see it. Right now he is just saying what the public wants to hear. One thing to ponder though is, if PdV does pick a younger less experienced team, and they fail miserably, he is going to blame the public for forcing his hand. 😈

  • Comment 10, posted at 19.04.11 07:02:04 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • What does he mean with personal problems? Sounds like he is talking without thinking again which makes me think this is all lip service. Divvi does not have the guts to take chances on new players that are actually on form this season. There are more than enough performing players to make up a winning squad. Coaches as well 😉

  • Comment 11, posted at 19.04.11 07:36:28 by Viking Reply
  • @BoerSeun (Comment 9) : There’s an idea. Put your best 13 at 15 and only include 3 forwards on the bench with no loosies as backup 😕

  • Comment 12, posted at 19.04.11 07:38:43 by Viking Reply
  • @Viking (Comment 12) : Yes and play Beast on tight head! 🙂 wth?

  • Comment 13, posted at 19.04.11 07:43:32 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Ben (Comment 13) : I wonder whether common sense will ever prevail in rugby?

  • Comment 14, posted at 19.04.11 07:45:09 by Viking Reply
  • @Viking (Comment 14) : He says its the Bok experiment, so why doesn’t he just put Craig Burden @ 12 and Willem Alberts @ 13?

  • Comment 15, posted at 19.04.11 07:47:25 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Ben (Comment 15) : I know KingShark would love nothing more than to give Kanko a run at centre :mrgreen: While we at it we can put Midfield at 10.

  • Comment 16, posted at 19.04.11 07:49:09 by Viking Reply
  • @Viking (Comment 16) : I were thinking more of Bissie playing @ 10! 🙂

  • Comment 17, posted at 19.04.11 07:55:52 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author

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