Former Springbok coach Pieter de Villiers has criticized the national team’s style of play under SA Rugby director Rassie Erasmus and coach Jacques Nienaber.
De Villiers said that while the Springboks’ current game plan might produce results, it doesn’t make for exciting viewing and it wastes the talents of once-in-a-generation players like Cheslin Kolbe.
“The Springboks are the world champions and we all are grateful for that. But I don’t think people will copy that style of play,” Peter de Villiers said in a lengthy interview with the Daily Mail.
“Firstly, it’s very boring. Does it give you results? Definitely, but it’s very, very boring. We suffocate people with our bulk and then we base our whole gameplan around defending, defending, defending. Instead of creating, creating, creating. We normally say that honesty comes from children, and if you’re going to play that kind of rugby at schoolboys level I don’t think a lot of schoolboys will want to play the game.”
While Kolbe scored the winning try in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final in Japan against England, de Villiers feels the Springboks are not allowing him to shine.
“Cheslin Kolbe is one of those individuals that comes around every 12 or 13 years. He’s somebody that children want to follow. A hero,” Peter de Villiers said.
“But do you think he is in a team that creates enough opportunities for him to live out this greatness? Or does he have to wait for somebody who kicks the ball into his hands? I don’t think we use him to the best of his ability.”