De Villiers to continue as Springboks skipper
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) –
South Africa captain Jean de Villiers will stay on as Springboks skipper after the team ended 2012 by winning all three matches on their European tour, coach Heyneke Meyer said Monday.
“I think he was a great ambassador for his country, especially off-field as well,” Meyer told media in Johannesburg after returning from England.
“I thought he was an awesome captain and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be the captain going forward for the next year.”
The Springboks beat England 16-15 at Twickenham on Saturday, after victories over Ireland (16-12) and Scotland (21-10).
The team is now ranked world number two after New Zealand following their unbeaten tour.
“We wanted to secure the number two spot in the world and with a lot of luck and a lot of commitment we’ve secured that,” said the satisfied coach.
Meyer had taken a young team to Britain when injuries kept more experienced players home. He had hoped the experience would also prepare players for the 2015 World Cup, which England will host.
“It’s total different rugby, total different game plans and conditions and I think the players adapted well to that, if you look at more experienced sides losing away from home,” he said.
South Africa is in the top four seeds for next week’s 2015 World Cup draw. The other teams are New Zealand, Australia and France.