Habana: Losing De Villiers is a big blow to the Boks

Bok captain Jean de Villiers fractured his jaw during the team's 46-6 win over Samoa this weekend.

FILE: South Africa's centre and captain Jean de Villiers announced his retirement from international rugby yesterday.Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - South African rugby is still coming to terms with the untimely retirement of Springbok captain Jean de Villiers from international rugby after he was forced out of the Rugby World Cup with an injury to his jaw.

De Villiers fractured his jaw during the Springboks' 46-6 win over Samoa at the weekend, a resounding comeback by Heyneke Meyer's chargers, who were stunned by Japan in the opening round of matches two weeks ago.

Thirty-four-year-old de Villiers captained the Boks for 37 tests and ends his career as the second most capped Bok captain of all time.

Joint third all-time try scorer and South Africa's leading try scorer, Bryan Habana has said that de Villiers' retirement will be a big blow to the Boks and to South African rugby, but that the team will forge ahead with their plans to conquer the world.

"I don't think we as a team will lose faith in whoever becomes the captain for the rest of the tournament, but again, losing Jean will be big. But I don't think it will be effective in terms of where we want to go as a team and the goals we've laid out for what we want to achieve."

Habana says the team is spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting the next captain, saying that the likes of Victor Matfield, Fourie du Preez, Schalk Burger and even himself are all capable of leading the team.


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