SPRINGBOK captain Jean de Villiers is likely to retain his position as Bok skipper next season following a declaration by national coach Heyneke Meyer on Monday that he was pleased with the player’s leadership skills.
De Villiers, Meyer said, proved to be a fantastic ambassador for the Springboks on and off the field, and he supported this by leading from the front on the field.
De Villiers was initially appointed as Bok captain for the season as Meyer opted against selecting a skipper up-front for his entire coaching term.
The Boks returned from their UK tour on Monday following a clean sweep of victories against Ireland, Scotland and England, and as expected Meyer was in high spirits.
Commenting on the captaincy with an eye on the 2013 season, Meyer said: "Jean was awesome at leading this young team. There were only three guys who started every game, which just shows how many injuries we had, and Jean was one of them. He probably played the full 80 minutes in 26 games this year, but he was a great ambassador for his country on and off the field."
He added: "Luckily, he played very well in the last three games. He was our main ball carrier, so we got a lot of go-forward off him, and wherever he went he represented the country well. So I think he was an awesome captain and there is no reason why he should not be the captain going forward for next year."
Looking back at the tour, Meyer said the team had built a solid base from which to grow and it was a case of mission accomplished on tour — despite being criticised for the lack of flair in their game and the lack of transformation in the team.
"We had three goals on tour and that was to return home unbeaten, to secure the No 2 in the world and to make the supporters proud," he said. "And we achieved that. If you look at the year in general, with successful tour we only lost three matches and think it is great that we started fourth in the world and finished the season in second place.
"We can achieve even better things if we keep our feet on the ground and stay humble. I always knew it was going to be a tough year, especially since we lost a lot of players (to injury), but it was a reasonable start and we can only grow from here."
© BDlive 2012
© BDlive 2012