CAPE TOWN — SA Rugby and the Boland Rugby Union have strongly denied claims made against them by former Springbok coach, Peter de Villiers.
De Villiers, who was recently named as Zimbabwe’s national coach, made headlines earlier this week when he held a press conference in Johannesburg.
De Villiers said SA Rugby blacklisted him and tried to prevent him from getting future employment.
“When I was the first choice for the (Zimbabwe) job I was phoned by the Zimbabwe Rugby Union, who told me that SA Rugby phoned them to say I was blacklisted in South Africa and they can’t appoint me,” De Villiers said.
SA Rugby’s spokesperson, Andy Colquhoun, denied De Villiers’ allegations, but told Netwerk24 that they will not take action against the former Bok mentor.
“We congratulate Peter with his appointment as Zimbabwe coach (sic). There is no truth in his accusation that we want to stand in his way,” Colquhoun said.
De Villiers also claimed that SA Rugby stopped him from being appointed Boland head coach in 2016.
“When Boland wanted to make me coach, someone from SA Rugby offered them R2 million not to appoint me, and a union like that cannot afford to say no to that sort of money,” De Villiers said.
Boland’s president, Ivan Pekeur, strongly denied the claims.
“Boland will never accept any money from any person or institution if it’s for obscure reasons. We are poor, but never corrupt,” Pekeur said.
De Villiers’ immediate task will be to attempt to help Zimbabwe qualify for next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, which, if successful, would be the country’s first World Cup appearance since the 1991 tournament in England, where they lost all three group matches to Scotland, Ireland and Japan.
He coached the Springboks between 2008 and 2011 and was the director of rugby at the University of the Western Cape between 2012 and 2015.
During his tenure as Springbok coach, De Villiers won five out of 11 Tests against the All Blacks — a better record than most Bok coaches in recent times.
Other notable achievements for De Villiers as Bok coach was a Tri-Nations win in 2009, as well as a series win over the British and Irish Lions that same year