British & Irish Lions

Peter de Villiers: 'Very boring' Boks not creating enough opportunities for Kolbe

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Peter de Villiers. (Gallo Images)
Peter de Villiers. (Gallo Images)

Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has criticised the national team's style of play ahead of the three-Test series against the British & Irish Lions.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Mail, De Villiers acknowledged that the Springboks' current game plan brought them the Rugby World Cup title but said it was not an exciting style.

According to De Villiers, the Boks' aren't doing enough to create opportunities for talented speedster Cheslin Kolbe, who was one of the try-scorers in South Africa's 32-12 win over England in the 2019 World Cup final.

"The Springboks are the world champions and we all are grateful for that. But I don't think people will copy that style of play," De Villiers said.

"Firstly, it's very boring. Does it give you results? Definitely, but it's very, very boring. We suffocate people with our bulk and then we base our whole game plan around defending, defending, defending. Instead of creating, creating, creating. We normally say that honesty comes from children, and if you’re going to play that kind of rugby at schoolboys level I don’t think a lot of schoolboys will want to play the game."

De Villiers added that he would like to see Kolbe receive more possession.

"Cheslin Kolbe is one of those individuals that comes around every 12 or 13 years. He's somebody that children want to follow. A hero.

'But do you think he is in a team that creates enough opportunities for him to live out this greatness? Or does he have to wait for somebody who kicks the ball into his hands? I don't think we use him to the best of his ability."

De Villiers coached the Springboks between 2008 and 2011 and one of his highlights was leading the team to a 2-1 series win over the British & Irish Lions in 2009.

He is currently the head coach of the Eastern Province Elephants, who play in the Currie Cup First Division.

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