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Tragedy as Boks lose their skipper


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, RWC 2015, Springboks on 28 Sep 2015 at 09:02
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has been ruled out of the remainder of the World Cup tournament, following a jaw fracture against Samoa. The 34-year-old centre, who has spent the bulk of the last season in rehab after a horror knee injury against Wales last year, announced his retirement from the Test arena when news of the injury broke.

De Villiers has long been suspected of having a sort of “World Cup curse” and this most insidious of bogeys has struck again – ironically against the same foes who curtailed his 2007 tournament. De Villiers first missed a World cup tournament in 2003, destroying his knee ligaments in a meaningless warm up game ahead of the team’s departure; 2007 saw him last just minutes of the opening game (against Samoa) before damaging a bicep. It was ribs that kept him out of the bulk of 2011′s tournament (although he at least didn’t suffer the indignation of having to return injured from that tournament). After successfully completing rehabilitation on his knee earlier this year, de Villiers broke his jaw (on the other side) against Argentina in his only test appearance of the year and again faced a race against time to be fit for the World Cup opener in Brighton.

This year’s campaign lasted just two matches for the likeable skipper and while he may never go down in history as a great World Cup participant, there is very little doubt the de Villiers will always be remembered for his many other great feats in the test arena. He will return to South Africa for an operation and has indicated that while he will not play rugby in the republic again, he may conclude his career with a stint in the UK.

Jan Serfontein has been called up to replace de Villiers, while no announcement has yet been made confirming Victor Matfield as the captain for the remainder of the tournament.

Jean – thanks for all the great memories and all the best for whatever the future holds.



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