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De Villiers backs Coetzee for Bok job

Rugby legend Jean de Villiers says Allister Coetzee has the necessary experience to handle the job.

Former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - He had a challenging final year as a Springbok, but remains a South African rugby legend.

It is evident that Jean de Villiers is a humble man and very passionate about South African rugby.

Representing HSBC at the Cape Town Sevens, de Villiers spoke about a variety of topics including the Springbok coach vacancy, his future and South African rugby.

The 109 test veteran spoke glowingly about the Sevens in Cape Town calling it a "match made in heaven" and said the timing of the event is perfect as there are several holidaymakers in the Mother City.

With regards to his playing career, de Villiers says he will play another six months for Leicester Tigers in England and hopes to play his first match in the next two weeks.

However, he is yet to make a decision about his future after his contract at Leicester ends.

He has a few projects lined up, including a role within a wealth management company and some possible television work.

When asked about the possibility of coaching one day, de Villiers was less forthcoming describing it as being a "tough job" and not very "forgiving".

He also believes South Africa needs to put structures in place where we "coach the coaches" in order to have more quality coaches coming through the system.

He thinks it is an important step that needs to be taken in South Africa.

The former centre admitted that the last few months were tough for him and Heyneke Meyer, but he thinks Meyer made the right decision, with his family being a big factor, for not seeking a renewal of his contract.

De Villiers went onto say all the blame for some of the Springboks' poor results cannot be put squarely on Meyer's lap.

"All the blame can definitely not go to him, I think we all need to take accountability for that".

He has backed his former Stormers coach Allister Coetzee as a candidate for the Springbok post; and insists he would "add a lot of value" and that he knows the "team culture" within the Springbok camp, having been an assistant coach in the World Cup-winning 2007 campaign.

De Villiers said Coetzee also had the necessary experience to handle the highly-pressurised coaching job, having coached for numerous years in Super Rugby.

He emphasised if Coetzee was appointed, the "most important" thing would be to have "good coaches around him" in order to have a world class all round coaching staff.

De Villiers is still very optimistic, however, about Springbok rugby saying "the players are definitely there" but again emphasised the need to get proper structures in place and the right people involved to get the best out of this talented rugby nation.

He is one of the true gentleman of the game, it must be said he had the unenviable task of taking over from one of the Springbok's great captains John Smit and he did that with aplomb.

Unfortunately, injuries disrupted multiple World Cups for the centre as well as his final year as the Springbok captain.

He will surely be remembered as a great in the history of South African rugby.