South African Rugby
De Villiers keeps top job
ESPNscrum Staff
October 1, 2010
Coach Peter de Villiers talks with Dick Muir and Gary Gold of South Africa during the Springboks training session held at Wasps Rugby Club in London, England November 20, 2008.
The Springbok coaching team will remain intact © Getty Images

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has given Peter De Villiers its full backing, confirming that he will remain in charge of the Springboks.

Speculation over his future continued in the wake of Monday's performance review in Johannesburg, with SARU choosing not to offer clarification on the coaching situation with the national team.

De Villiers, along with his assistant coaches Dick Muir and Gary Gold, met with SARU president Oregan Hoskins in Durban on Thursday, when it was confirmed that the coaching structure would remain intact.

The Springboks have endured a miserable 2010 to date, losing five of their six Tri-Nations matches, their worst display in the competition's 15-year history. They are now set to undertake a Grand Slam tour of the Home Unions in November.

"Recent speculation has obviously been unsettling for all three coaches," Hoskins said. "We frankly discussed operational issues and the team performance but I am very upbeat about the outcomes and the way forward.

"It is our intention to seek the input of consultants at some point in the future - we saw what value Eddie Jones brought to an established coaching team in 2007. I discussed the principle with all three coaches and they are fully supportive. But I am happy to end all speculation by confirming that the coaching team remains unchanged."

De Villiers has also courted controversy this year with outspoken claims of a conspiracy against his side by Tri-Nations referees and also a misjudged offer of support to Bulls prop Bees Roux, who stands accused of murdering a Pretoria police officer.

"All aspects of preparation and performance have been reviewed and nobody needs to explain the expectations of South African rugby supporters for the Springbok team," Hoskins said. "Improvements in results have to be made and the coaching staff is aware of that.

"But memories are short. A year ago this same group of players and coaches were number one in the world and the head coach was named as coach of the year by the South African rugby media. We continue to back them and look forward to a successful end of year tour."

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