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Fans jump to Peter de Villiers' defence

South African fans have defended former Springboks coach Peter de Villiers after he had to reveal on Twitter that he had a level three rugby coaching certificate. 

The 62-year-old had applied to be the head coach of the Southern Kings, the maligned PRO14 outfit, but it was reported in the newspaper Rapport and on the 702 radio station that he was under-qualified. 

De Villiers has since shown his coaching qualification on social media, saying: “I would never have coached the Boks without it”.

He added that these are “lies designed to malign me and prevent me from being hired by The Kings”.

Although this ordeal may have been demeaning for the coach, it looks as though he has the backing from the South African public on social media, who feel that this attempt to slander him has gone far enough. 

One fan highlighted the ‘vendetta’ that the South African Rugby Union seems to have with de Villiers, while others have pointed out that the media in South Africa seem to target him. 

This probably stems from his time with the Springboks between 2008 and 2011 where he was known to be a prickly character who said some controversial comments. Furthermore, since leaving his post with the national team, he has been critical of the SARU. 

But a lot of fans have said that not only has de Villiers got the qualification, but his time with the Springboks speaks for itself. 

During his four years in charge, he guided the team to a Test series victory against the British and Irish Lions in 2009, won the Tri-Nations that same year and had a 47 per cent winning record against the All Blacks. But he has still been criticised for his time in charge with the Boks. 

Regardless of what happens with his future, de Villiers has the support from large swathes of fans. This is what they have said on Twitter: 

This is the latest episode in a tough few weeks for de Villiers after current Springboks prop Tendai Mtawarira was highly critical of him in his recently published autobiography, calling into question his coaching credentials and methods. 

While this is unlikely to be the end of this saga, the coach can know that although he feels the media and the SARU are against him, the majority of fans are not. 

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Fans jump to Peter de Villiers' defence