De Villiers named SA rugby player of the year
Jean de Villiers became the sixth player to win the award more than once after winning it in 2008.
JOHANNESBURG - Springbok captain Jean de Villiers was named the SA rugby player of the year on Wednesday night, becoming only the sixth player to win the award more than once.
The centre, who also captured the title back in 2008, led the Boks to 10 wins out of 12 tests in 2013.
He admits that the men he beat to the award - Bismarck du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Willie le Roux and Duane Vermeulen were all worthy candidates.
"I never expected it. There were great guys that were nominated as well, anyone could have won it. I give this back to my team as I stand here and say thanks for the effort that was put in and I'm honoured to receive it for the team, more than I do for myself."
De Villiers enjoyed arguably his best ever year in 2013, which is no mean feat given his age. The 32-year-old says it's not easy playing against men ten years his junior.
"I think the end is the reality for me as well. When you are 21/22 years old, you don't think that your career will end. But when you are at my age, you know that it's just around the corner and you have to make the most out of what you have left.
"Hard work is the only solution to keep playing well, the work that you put behind the scene matters most. While I'm still enjoying and my body can still take it, I'll keep on playing."
While he captains both the Boks and the Stormers, de Villiers admits that, given his age, he is in talks with clubs overseas.
"There's couple of options on the table but essentially it needs to be a structure that makes sense for everyone involved. As rugby player that's my job and want to earn as much money as possible, because if someone employs me they want make the most of it and use me as much as they can."
"So for now I want to focus on my pre-season and the start of the season next weekend."
De Villiers has welcomed the return of former lock Victor Matfield, who announced recently that he was re-entering the rugby arena after retiring in 2011.
"Victor has made the decision and the only person that can lose out from Victor coming back playing is Victor himself. He's putting everything on the line and saying he wants to give it another shot. We can only gain from it."
De Villiers says they as players can benefit from Matfield's experience, especially if he can reach the standard that he was at two years ago.
The Bok captain was also the recipient of the try of the year award for the five pointer he scored for the Boks against Wales in Cardiff.
The winners and finalists in all the categories for 2013 are:
SARU rugby player of the year
Winner: Jean de Villiers
Finalists: Bismarck du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Willie le Roux, Duane Vermeulen
Absa young player of the year
Winner: Eben Etzebeth
Finalists: Pieter-Steph du Toit, Cheslin Kolbe, Siya Kolisi, Jan Serfontein
SARPA players' player of the Year: Willie le Roux (Springboks, Toyota Cheetahs, GWK Griquas)
Springbok sevens player of the year
Winner: Cornal Hendricks
Finalists: Frankie Horne, Seabelo Senatla
SA under-20 player of the year
Winner: Cheslin Kolbe
Finalists: Jacques du Plessis, Seabelo Senatla
Absa team of the year
Winner: Steval Pumas
Finalists: The Sharks (Absa Currie Cup), Springboks
Absa coach of the year
Winner: Jimmy Stonehouse (Steval Pumas, SA President's XV)
Finalists: Heyneke Meyer (Springboks), Brendan Venter (The Sharks)
Vodacom Super Rugby player of the year
Winner: Adriaan Strauss (Toyota Cheetahs)
Finalists: Willie le Roux (Toyota Cheetahs), Duane Vermeulen (DHL Stormers)
Absa Currie Cup premier division player of the year
Winner: Scarra Ntubeni (DHL Western Province)
Finalists: Cheslin Kolbe (DHL Western Province), Fred Zeilinga (The Sharks)
Absa Currie Cup first division player of the year
Winner: Rosko Specman (Steval Pumas)
Finalists: Alshaun Bock (SWD Eagles), Tiger Mangweni (EP Kings)
Vodacom Cup player of the year
Winner: Fred Zeilinga (Sharks XV)
Finalists: Marnitz Boshoff (Golden Lions), Rosko Specman (Steval Pumas)
Supersport try of the year
Winner: Jean de Villiers (Springboks v Wales in Cardiff)
Finalists: Zane Kirchner (Springboks v Australia, Cape Town), Bryan Habana (Springboks v New Zealand, Johannesburg), JP Pietersen (Springboks v Scotland, Edinburgh), Jano Vermaak (Vodacom Bulls v Southern Kings, Port Elizabeth), Lwazi Mvovo (The Sharks v Highlanders, Dunedin), Pat Lambie (The Sharks v Vodacom Bulls, Pretoria), Riaan Smit (Toyota Free State Cheetahs v Vodacom Blue Bulls, Pretoria), Rocco Jansen (GWK Griquas v Golden Lions, Johannesburg), Gio Aplon (DHL Western Province v The Sharks, Cape Town).
Marriott referee award: Jonathan Kaplan
Women's achiever of the year: Zenay Jordaan (Eastern Province)
Cell C community cup player of the tournament: Giovano Fourie (GAP Management Despatch)
Coca-Cola Craven Week player of the tournament: Grant Hermanus (Western Province)