Jean counting his blessings

June 9, 2010
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Jean de Villiers could scarcely believe his good fortune on Tuesday when he was included in the Springbok squad for Saturday’s Test against France at Newlands.

Stephen Nell – Sport24

The pleasant surprise came on the same day that Western Province announced that they had secured De Villiers for this year’s Currie Cup and next year’s Super 14.

He returns to his former rugby home after a successful and satisfying stint at Irish side Munster.

“I must say I could not have asked for more. I did not expect to be involved in this weekend’s Test and it makes it all the more special that it will be at Newlands,” said De Villiers, who was named among the substitutes.

De Villiers is returning to South Africa in a bid to satisfy his World Cup itch next year after injury ruled him out of the tournament in 2003 and he sustained a serious injury in the Boks’ opening game against Samoa in Paris in 2007.

However, he also has serious ambitions for his career at WP and the Stormers.

“I’m a WP player through and through, but have not yet won a trophy with them. It’s something I really would like to achieve – to win a trophy in the blue-and-white hoops. The Stormers did well in the Super 14 and the future is looking bright,” he said.

I’m looking forward to it and hopefully we can bring back the glory years of WP rugby.”

De Villiers said that he “really enjoyed” his time at Munster.

“I learned a lot and had a great time. I made very good friends. If I had my life over again, I would make the decision to go there again. It was an incredible experience,” he said.

“I’m now back at my home where I learned my rugby and would like to play my way into South Africa’s World Cup squad next year.”

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56 Comments

  1. avatar JT says:
    June 9th, 2010 at 9:06 am

    See Frans steyn – this is the type of attitude we would like to see come from you at times. How much of the “bad” is perception and media editing of quotes is open to debate but a bit more effort next time. :soapbox:

  2. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 9th, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Reply to JT @ 9:06 am: :agree: Frans need still to learn alot but he is young and have achieve so much I blame his coaches and mentors for his so called bad ways.

  3. avatar Morné says:
    June 9th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Reply to Jacques(Bunny) @ 6:08 pm:

    Forget his coaches and mentors, and look straight to his agent for f-ing everything up in my opinion.

  4. avatar Boertjie says:
    June 9th, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Reply to Morné @ 6:15 pm:

    Ja, some guys need to be
    taught some life skills
    etc. by a good mentor/coach
    or agent – not somebody
    flexing muscles and only in
    for the ride.

  5. avatar Ollie says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 8:38 am

    I just hope logic and common sense prevail and that FS becomes a better rugby player from it all.

    On the topic, I hope JDV stays injury free from now until after the RWC next year. We will need all the depth and experience we can get if we want any hope on being the first team to retain the cup.

  6. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Wonder why Ralepelle isn’t counting his blessings in public?

    And all this ‘Steyn’ bollocks… I suppose Joe was also giving Snor ‘lip’ eh?

    Always the “Emperor’s new clothes mob”… Steyn has done everything right including his move OS to expand his game…

  7. avatar Ollie says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 9:21 am:

    1. Probably because the media haven’t published anything from him :dead horse:

    2. Who knows, who cares, there are enough loosies better than Joe

    3. People don’t like it when a youngster gets offered a position in the Boks and turns it down. His move might have been good for him, but he did so knowing full well that PDV was going to try and pick SA based players first and only look overseas if he couldn’t find anybody good enough. Steyn did nothing last weekend to show he is irreplaceable at 15, and 12 is already full.

  8. avatar Morné says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Reply to Ollie @ 9:37 am:

    Hehe

  9. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 9:56 am

    “People don’t like it when a youngster gets offered a position in the Boks and turns it down. ”

    I must have missed that one…

  10. avatar Morné says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 9:56 am:

    You missed all the reports on how Frans Steyn pulled himself out (albeit through his agent in an email) of the Welsh test which led to an emergency meeting a week before the test?

    Do you want all the links?

  11. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 10:01 am

    “Steyn did nothing last weekend to show he is irreplaceable at 15″

    Er the guy has been playing 3 different positions this season (more so 10 and 12)… and links up with the team for a make-shift test and you expect him to be Joe Roffe… and for the record… he looked a damn site better than Kirchner (who is the form 15 in RSA)…

    Mate I can only shake my head at some of “The Emperors New Clothes” mob’s weak reasoning…

  12. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Reply to Morné @ 9:59 am:

    How about posting Helium’s public apology to Steyn (and his manager)…

    I would have told Snor to fokoff if he couldn’t have been bothered to answer any calls nor even bother to inform me I playing a test the following week (whether that be via my agent or pigeon carrier)…

  13. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 10:04 am:

    Well I’d be impressed if he sent me a pigeon carrier to make amends… but a carrier pigeon would have done…

  14. avatar DavidS says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Steyn is young and inexperienced.

    Shame man

    Recall that Steyun is young and Afrikaans and affie plaas… good kid who likes rugby and not much else.

    De Villiers comes over as more wise and of course speaks English. Ireland is an English country and France is not. I know players need to take a French class when they go over, but it is given in English and Frans is not even fluent in that.

    He is young, dumb, famous, probably terrified of anything academic, and in a foreign country that does not even speak English. I can understand why he gets lead by the nose and maybe make some mistakes. I would cut him slack. I bet his coach even deigns to speak English to Francois because Francois got a red “kom sien my” on his French test and they realize he can’t speak French or English…. just play rugby.

    De Villiers is fluent in English, more experienced, older, comes over as more intelligent and went to a country that speaks English.

    I think there are worlds of difference between the two.

  15. avatar Morné says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 10:04 am:

    Correction.

    PDV apologised for his utterances to the media (blaming the agent) on his unavailability where he should have rather kept quiet and waited for the meeting first.

    The fact that his agent sent him the email is not in question, this happened, and as PDV said why should he phone players to ask on their availability when he does not even do that with his captain or most senior players?

    PDV apologising for stating his views publicly has nothing to do with Steyn and his agent actually making him unavailable for the test in the first place.

    Don’t let sideshows dilute you from the actuall issue here and that is Frans making himself unavailable for a test.

    But then again, if sideshows diverts the attention from the real issue to support your views I suppose you will do it…

  16. avatar Morné says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 10:04 am:

    And while we are on about sideshows why does Steyn and his agent insist that all communication with Steyn HAS to be through his agent?

    If anyone had to tell anyone else to f-off it is PDV to Steyn and his agent who has some mightier than thou view of themselves.

  17. avatar Boertjie says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Reply to Morné @ 10:17 am:

    As it turns out he was only
    “available” for the Welsh
    Test – not the others.

  18. avatar Ollie says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Reply to Boertjie @ 11:18 am:

    Has the reason for that ever seen the light of day?

  19. avatar Boertjie says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Reply to Ollie @ 11:20 am:

    Not that I know off.
    Maybe his agent told him
    some rest is better than
    ZA Rands.

  20. avatar Morné says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Reply to Boertjie @ 11:18 am:

    And even that does not make sense, as the league in France is currently not in progress…

  21. avatar Morné says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    And if it was ‘rest’ his was on about how about an old war-horse like Vic gets phoned on a Monday and told to haul his ass out to Wales for a test and we do not hear a murmur…

    Or is the French Top 14 now all of a sudden a tougher competition than the Super 14???

  22. avatar Ollie says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Reply to Morné @ 11:28 am:

    The last time I commented on that issue I was either ignored or insulted, depending on which side on the Indian Ocean you’re on.

  23. avatar Morné says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Reply to Ollie @ 11:34 am:

    On Vic or the Top 14?

  24. avatar Ollie says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Reply to Ollie @ 11:34 am:

    Either way, the topic was not debated further for some reason.

  25. avatar Morné says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Reply to Morné @ 11:35 am:

    If it was the Top 14 then just one issue puts that debate to rest.

    The travel involved in Super 14 versus that of the Top 14…

  26. avatar Ollie says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Reply to Morné @ 11:35 am:

    Top 14 vs Super 14 vs Players losing their edge

  27. avatar Morné says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:40 am

    The Top 14 is a bloody domestic competition, similar to the Currie Cup.

    Yes the very best Top 14 teams also play Heineken Cup which is much tougher, but so too our best (and worst) CC teams also play Super 14 rugby.

    How is this for a interesting fact.

    The current French team has one Racing Metro player selected in the match day 22 (Fransie’s club) and none from Toulon (Joe’s club), and neither Racing nor Toulon played Heineken Cup this year either.

    From where I sit the quality of the teams can be compared to the Lions and Cheetahs locally (respectfully said to the supporters of those unions but I am just making a point).

    And how difficult is it for a half decent player to shine or stand out in teams of that quality.

    FFS even Doppies le Grange looked a world class player at the Lions this year!

  28. avatar Ollie says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Reply to Morné @ 11:40 am:

    Now you have gone and done, wait for the insult or nothing at all. :lol:

  29. avatar Morné says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Reply to Ollie @ 11:43 am:

    In fact I am being nasty to the Cheetahs and Lions.

    They at least still play Super 14 which is similar to the Heineken Cup.

    Metro is more likely to be the Griquas of France.

    It is almost like thinking or saying that if Jauzion is contracted by Griquas only playing in Currie Cup rugby he will maintain his edge needed for international rugby!

  30. avatar Ollie says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I was lambasted for saying that I agreed with PDV in that some of the players would lose some of the edge when playing in France as opposed to staying in SA.

    I think :Dawie: went as far as saying that all the imported players into France made the TOP 14 tougher, which in context with what I was saying, implied that they would hone their edge.

    Simple fact is that the rugby is a bit different, with different setups and standards and game plans, and not many of the really tops players will improve their rugby skills just their mindset and rugby experience (and of course their bank balance)

    Also, the vast majority of imported players do not even make the 1st team of the 1st division clubs.

  31. avatar Morné says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Reply to Ollie @ 11:49 am:

    Okay I missed the memo which read that the Top 14 is the premier competition in the world producing the best rugby and players…

  32. avatar Ollie says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Reply to Morné @ 11:46 am:

    Metro imports guys like Steyn to help them climb a division up, so in fact it is the local players there that are honing their edges with what they learn from the imported players.

  33. avatar Morné says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:55 am

    No matter which way you try and butter this up, the Top 14 is a domestic competition, with which will come the freedom’s and space found in domestic rugby and competitions.

    The Heineken Cup, of which 11 of the 15 starting French players (and most of their match 22 bench) has played in reaching the quarters, semi’s and finals are a different beast altogether and yes the ‘edge’ there is much tougher and sharper which is why they make up the majority of the test team in the first place.

    Surely that is bloody logical?

    It is exactly similar in the SA context where yes, our top Currie Cup teams go through to the Super 14 and the top Super 14 teams (Stormers and Bulls) make up the majority of the Bok team currently as they are the sharp and battle hardened players.

    Believing a player that shines in a domestic competition like the Top 14 has the same edge and pace as one competing in the top competitions in the world like the Heineken Cup or Super 14 is simply delusional.

  34. avatar Ollie says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Reply to Morné @ 11:50 am:

    Have a look here:
    http://www.ruggaworld.com/2010/06/07/euro-boks-below-par-snor/

    Particularly comments 56 – 57 – 66 – 69

    After that the :Dawie: turns it into :poop:

  35. avatar Morné says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Reply to Ollie @ 11:57 am:

    Ja well that is what :Dawie: do best when they get :doemprofete:

    :D :Ollie:

  36. avatar manvanstaal says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Jeantjie kooooom huistoe, die Kaap is leeeg sonder jou… :support:

  37. avatar Boertjie says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Reply to manvanstaal @ 12:10 pm:

    My ghantang vannie Onnerkaap
    waar die mammies op hul hakke loop
    ====
    Daai laaste reël verwys na
    die manier wat swanger vroue
    stap – as jy nie geweet het nie.

  38. avatar manvanstaal says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Reply to Boertjie @ 12:25 pm: Almal saam nou – neem my hand en vat my saam
    na die dixie land vanaand….

    :jester:

  39. avatar manvanstaal says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Reply to Boertjie @ 12:25 pm: Nie geweet nie, thanks. :-)

  40. avatar manvanstaal says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Speaking of the onnerkaap, there is a shitload of programmes on UK tv lately about violence in SA.

    Their favourite place is natuurlik die flats an daai gate.

    Lag soms lekker vir daai karakters, maar dis eintlik tragies.

    En Mitchell’s plain se ‘neighbourhood watch’ skrik vir niks. 8O

  41. avatar Boertjie says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Reply to manvanstaal @ 12:28 pm:

    En dit was een van Anton se
    vermomde protesliedjies –
    dit sinspeel op die verwydering
    uit Distrik Ses (wat die Kaap
    “leeg” gelaat het).

    Destyd se sensors was natuurlik
    te onnosel om dit te kop.

  42. avatar manvanstaal says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Reply to Boertjie @ 12:33 pm: Maar laat hy nou van seks of iets wat te veel na seks klink gesing het dan was dit n instant ban. :lol:

  43. avatar Ollie says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Reply to Ollie @ 11:43 am:

    See, told you so :fishing:

  44. avatar entropy says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Janne Jean count the blessings. Ireland showed what an average dude you are, bar the intercepts of course.

    Frans makes mistakes but SARU and Pieter will be moronic if they do not manage him. He is a very special player which you must have at a world cup.

    Pieter if you dont want to select foreing players then dont. I understand your reasoning 100%. But dont select then and then rubbish them. Thats dumb and immature.

  45. avatar DavidS says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Geez sorry for making a living and not praying at the altar of Ruggaworld for the benefit of the bonobo….

    Maybe Ollie if you were truthful then the SSL would be able to contextualize what I said.

    I have summarized it but yes here it was in gist again

    1. SA players are tired and below par at the end of a season that starts at S14 and ends at EOYT. Frans Steyn started S14 and ended …. now…. 18 months of rugby and now we’re amazed that his standard has dropped….. maybe just maybe due to fatigue and not the poor quality of rugby league he plays in….

    2. The French league is one of the top leagues in the world … probably the toughest after S14 and Heineken Cup, given that they import GOOD overseas players at huge numbers, and of course aside from last yearr almost every Heineken Cup has been won by French clubs…. Don’t underestimate their strength…

    But thanks for playing and getting the SL’s lap in a knot….

    Bonobo

  46. avatar DavidS says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    ps. I believe what I stated was imminently sensible and the bonobo tried to change the subject instead of answering… probably cos he agreed secretly

  47. avatar Ollie says:
    June 11th, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Reply to DavidS @ 9:42 pm:

    I can go agree that point 1 is a possibility, self induced, but a possibility. If the player is burning himself out then he must face any consequences in the form of bad form and getting criticised accordingly.

    With point 2 I can agree that the Top 14 is tough, but not that it is in the same league as Super 14, and I certainly cannot agree that just bringing a max of 2 or 3 (on average) good international players per team is going to turn it into a competition where our players can go to hone their skills. Which is basically what the crux of the conversation is.

    My point is that I agree with PDV, in that our Bok contention players (again in general) cannot go to play in the European competition to become better players. They can learn a different playing style and team culture etc. but very few will become better players because of it. Instead, the local players at those clubs will be the ones learning from our Bok incumbents.

    The only player that I can think of offhand that actually came back a better player was Percy and that change was mostly between his ears and with his boot, as he was actually getting slower by the time he came back.

    Of the players that I have heard of coming back not many have shown any improvement on the park when playing for the Boks and just as many have never made the Boks.

    In fact, I would go as far as saying that those that actually improved when they returned did so because they just had a change, which they say is as good as a holiday, and possibly they rested up a bit.

  48. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 11th, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Reply to DavidS @ 9:42 pm:

    I have come to the conclusion over the past few weeks on RW… that you are insulting Bonobo’s by grouping them with the “Emperor’s New Clothes’” brigade…

  49. avatar Ollie says:
    June 11th, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 8:58 am:

    When you reply to Morne’s comments 15 and 16 the you can have room to pass the snarky comments :twisted:

  50. avatar UFO says:
    June 11th, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I think it’s important to remember Frans Steyn’s own admission that there is no pressure to win in France… he said as long as you try something they are happy even if it doesn’t come off… winning is not the be-all-and-end-all…

    so if there is no (or little) pressure to win… there is no way the Franch league can be of the same standard…

    but whether that is true or not… IF Frans and other SA players believe there is no pressure to win… the obvious consequence is that their own standards must drop… after all… sport is all about being pushed by the guy behind you for your spot… without that no one can hope to maintain the highest standards…

    therefore… I agree with PdV… and those above who agree with his comments…

  51. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 11th, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Reply to UFO @ 9:18 am:

    “therefore… I agree with PdV… and those above who agree with his comments…”

    Within the context of this one-off hap-hazard test?

    That has always been the argument…

    Frans and Joe are apparently kuk now as due to the league they have been in… yet an under-performing JDV and BJ are kosher… please mate… all double-speak by Helium which snags “The Emperor’s New Clothe’s brigade”…

  52. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 11th, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Reply to Ollie @ 9:08 am:

    I don’t need to… Morne was too lazy (or devious) to post Frans’ first comments about trying to contact Snor… then Snor’s admittance he got the message but why should he have to phone Frans back when he doesn’t have to do the same with the likes of Smit (yet the next article Joe admit’s Snor had been in regular contact with him whilst OS)…

    Whatever dudes… The Emperor’s New Clothes are fantastic… let’s all hold hands and form daisy-chains with glassy-eyes…

    Keep twisting… :vuvu: :vuvu: :vuvu: :vuvu:

  53. avatar Ollie says:
    June 11th, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 9:43 am:

    Wrong again.

    I quote from the original article:

    However, it was reported in Die Burger on Thursday that Steyn sent De Villiers an SMS earlier this week saying he does not want to play against Wales. It is also rumoured that the two have a strained relationship, which is behind Steyn’s withdrawal. De Villiers has denied these claims.

    ‘There has never been tension between Frans and I. The problem involves me and Frans’s agent Gerrie Swartz,’ De Villiers told keo.co.za.

    ‘Two weeks ago, Gerrie sent me an e-mail saying on Frans’s behalf that he doesn’t want to play for the Boks. He also suggested some players I should replace Frans with. Who is he to tell the me, the head coach, who to select?’

    De Villiers said there has been poor communication between him and Steyn, but believes the truth will be revealed when the two parties meet in Johannesburg on Friday.

    ‘I haven’t heard from Frans since he left for Racing Metro after the Test in Hamilton last year. It is true that he sent me an SMS earlier this week, but it didn’t say he didn’t want to play for the Boks. He tried to get hold of me. We tried to call him back but we couldn’t get through to him after several attempts.

    PDV says he doesn’t contact Vic and Smit to see if they wanted to play for the Boks.

    He contacted Joe who was not a Bok regular and had no idea that he might be part of the Bok setup, long before any of this, to say that he should keep up the good work. In other words giving a player aspirations to play towards and let hm know his hard work is paying off. I call that good management.

    You know, from every single interview and comment from a player that I have heard I have never heard one of them bad mouth PDV in any way. What’s your excuse?

  54. avatar Morné says:
    June 11th, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 9:43 am:

    I thought that was obvious as I posted the story Ollie did for you on this very website, one of the few Keo.co.za articles I ever post on here.

  55. avatar Morné says:
    June 11th, 2010 at 10:07 am

    BTW how can we twist things if we basically paste things verbatim?

  56. avatar UFO says:
    June 11th, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 9:37 am:

    very quick to assign people to groups eh..?? hmmmm…

    no… within the context of Steyn saying there was no presure to win…

    and the inevitable consequence of that lack of pressure will be a drop in their standards…

    no sportsman will reach or stay in top form if they are not pushed to win… if merely ‘trying’ is good enough…

    common sense really…

    seems you’re the only one here fixated on the emperor’s clothes… what is it that you’re not telling us…??

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