De Villiers rejects NZ reports
Bok captain Jean de Villiers has rejected reports claiming SA won’t select overseas players.
JOHANNESBURG - Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has rejected reports from New Zealand on Friday which claims he said in the future, South Africa won't select players playing abroad.
He's quoted as saying, "We have to keep South African rugby strong. For now, they're selected from abroad but going into the future I can't see that happening."
Seven players from the squad that will play Argentina in Saturday's Rugby Championship opener now play for overseas clubs.
De Villiers says his quotes have been reported out of context.
"The reality is that when you lose a lot of players to overseas clubs your franchises lose a lot of experience and you get weaker at times, and that's what I said".
De Villiers says he was asked as to the impact of Springboks leaving Super Rugby teams and what that might mean for next season.
"For us at the Stormers losing guys like Bryan Habana and Andries Bekker means that the team will be weaker without those guys. They're world class players and they've shown over the years how good they are. To replace them is very difficult."
De Villiers says no matter where players are playing the best available should always represent the Springboks.
"When it comes to Springbok rugby you want to select your strongest team, you want to select the guys that are good enough to play for the Springboks. That's not a decision that I have to make. I made my decision to play my rugby in South Africa, but how can you ever say no to playing with world class players?"