It looks like the Springboks will go into the Rugby World Cup 2019 without the valiant support of its former coach, Peter de Villiers.
When is the Rugby World Cup 2019?
With the Rugby World Cup 2019 only eight days away, the Boks need all the support they can get to repeat the stellar performance they showed when they lifted the trophy in 2007.
The opening fixture against New Zealand, taking place on Saturday, 21 September, will be a thrilling encounter that the Boks will want to win.
The two rivals will face off on neutral grounds so it should make for a nailbiting event and the Boks will need this victory under their belt to build the momentum needed to set them on course for the championship.
Why is Peter de Villiers not supporting the Boks?
However, their course to Japan has already been marred with controversy. Former Boks coach, Peter de Villiers, who led the two-time world champions between 2008 and 2011, has come out saying that he will not join the country in backing the boys at the World Cup.
In an exclusive interview with Planet Rugby, Peter de Villiers stated that his decision to not support came after allegations of racism surfaced in the camp.
It is alleged that shortly before the Boks’ departure to Japan, Eben Etzebeth, one of the country’s most prolific locks, allegedly got embroiled in a racially-charged scandal in Langebaan.
It is believed that the lock assaulted and hurled racial slurs at a homeless man outside of a bar in the coastal holiday town. Of course, Elizabeth vehemently denied these claims, with his version being backed by SA Rugby.
This, Peter de Villiers believes, was a bad call, especially since “those [were] serious accusations made against the player.”
“I find it disappointing that black administrators at SA Rugby like Mark Alexander (president) and Francois Davids (deputy president) have not done the right thing by launching an investigation and suspending the player until he has cleared his name,” De Villiers said.
The former coach stressed the importance of handling racial issues that occur within the sport. According to De Villiers, the way in which SA Rugby handled the situation proved, to him at least, that ” they are [not] serious about stamping out racism.”
“We already have several black rugby fans here in South Africa backing teams like the All Blacks and with allegations like racism rearing its ugly head against a prominent player, it could result in more people deserting the Springboks for other teams,” the coach added.
He surely made it abundantly clear that based on this, he would not be supporting the Boks in this World Cup campaign.