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.
@Radio702 reported that I don't have a Level 3 rugby coaching certificate. For the record I attained it in Wale's in 1997. I would never have coached the Boks without it. It's all lies designed to malign me and prevent me from being hired by The Kings, regards PDV @TandoManana pic.twitter.com/zrrRmFVEp4
— Peter De Villiers (@PeterDeVillier5) July 29, 2019
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.
This is turning into quite a mess. https://t.co/QyNLO3qn8c
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 30, 2019
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:
So they say Peter de Villiers is "under-qualified" to coach the Kings? The man who won the B & I Lions series, Tri-Nations, double over the All Blacks, no. 1 ranking. Then they spin that he doesn't level 3 coaching, and he does. Can the Sharks please go for him
— Ndani Sitole (@ndani14) July 29, 2019
People at SARU need to drop this silly vendetta they have on him. Its too old now.
— Such Is Life…. (@Nashmav) July 29, 2019
What the hell does everybody have against him?
— capetowneye (@wannaBbikerider) July 29, 2019
What does PDV have to do to be given a chance on SA Soil again?
— #KZNRugbyNews (@KZNRugbyNews) July 30, 2019
This is just sad and wrong
— Sne Ndimande (@SneNdimande) July 29, 2019
Don't these people get tired of trying to discredit the man?
— uNyambose (@BaloKaMthethwa) July 29, 2019
This man just not have to prove or show anything! ?. No idea why media is crucifying him honestly pisses me off!!
— Lee-Xavier (@LeeXavier_S) July 29, 2019
The treatment of Peter De Villiers in this country, after everything he achieved, is nothing short of an absolute disgrace. It's scandalous. Calling the man's qualifications into question? Massive low blow, and sadly, a situation that faces many coaches of colour, STILL.
— Jade Manasse (@Jade_Manasse) July 30, 2019
Only in this country will you find a whole sporting body use all its machinery, such as media and cronies to discredit and keep a qualified coach from finding employment! Despicable from @sarugby and the media.
— FREE_or_DOM (@FREEorDOM1) July 29, 2019
Radio702 reported that former Springboks coach Peter de Villiers doesn't have a Level 3 rugby coaching certificate. Apart from it being a lie, PDV
would never have coached the Boks without it. How the story was even commissioned is truly beyond me. https://t.co/vDd1PqS0fH
— Jules?? (@JulietPoone) July 30, 2019
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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