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Ex-Springbok coach Peter de Villiers returns to rugby

By Chris Jones
Rassie Erasmus and Peter de Villiers

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Peter de Villiers, who coached the Springboks to a test series triumph over the British and Irish Lions in 2009, has agreed to coach the country’s national deaf sevens team, including their World Cup challenge in Argentina in 2023..

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South African newspaper Rapport, said the controversial De Villiers’ appointment was confirmed by Reneen Stenekamp, president of the SA Rugby Association for deaf players.

Stenekamp said: “Peter has been appointed with immediate effect until and including the World Cup tournament for deaf sevens players in Cordoba, Argentina.”

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“Panicked” All Blacks have a lot of work to do
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“Panicked” All Blacks have a lot of work to do

De Villiers responded to his new role saying: “During my time as Bok head coach, I firmly believed that rugby had the power to uplift the community and, more importantly, to develop individuals who might not have had the same access to sport like others.

“When the SA Rugby Association for the deaf approached me and explained their reasons for creating two teams for male and female players who will work to play in a World Cup next year, I immediately said I wanted to be involved.

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“The chance to add value to a class of rugby that I have never experienced before, to help individuals reach their potential and also to develop future leaders and finishers in South Africa is something that I simply could not pass up.”

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De Villiers coached the Springboks from 2008 to 2011, after raising his profile with successes with the South African U19 and U21 squads and became the first-ever non-white to be appointed to the national coaching position. The Springboks won 30 of their 48 matches under De Villiers and he became the first coach since Nelie Smith to have secured a series win over the Lions.

Last year de Villiers was named as the Good Party’s mayoral candidate for the Drakenstein local municipality. He has suffered tragedy away from rugby and in 2019 lost his daughter, Odille Monk, after a brave fight against cancer aged just 28 and in early April this year, De Villiers‘ wife’s body was found floating in a swimming pool in Gqeberha having drowned.

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