Rugby World Cup
De Villiers defends Mvovo omission
ESPNscrum Staff
August 25, 2011
The Sharks' Lwazi Mvovo dives over to score, Lions v Sharks, Super Rugby, Ellis Park, Johannesburg, South Africa, June 11, 2011
Sharks speedster Lwazi Mvovo is on standby for the Springboks squad © Getty Images

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has defended the omission of wing Lwazi Mvovo from South Africa's Rugby World Cup squad.

De Villiers opted to include winger Odwa Ndungane ahead of his Sharks team-mate in the 30-man squad that will defend the World Champions crown in New Zealand. Ndungane has featured in just 24 minutes of South Africa's 2011 Tri-Nations campaign while Mvovo started in both South Africa's opening two games of the tournament.

But De Villiers suggested that while Mvovo, who has won four caps for his country, posed a greater attacking threat than his Sharks team-mate, Ndungane's experience and all-round game offered greater options.

"Lwazi [Mvovo] was one of those selections that you had to really think hard about because he is an extraordinary talent," he said. "We sat and thought about what we need at this World Cup and what role the players should play.

"If I needed a guy to start it would definitely have been Lwazi, but we do have a few guys who will be in the starting line-up and we are looking to those guys who have been around the block and who are holistically good in the position who can do well in defence as well as attack."

Meanwhile flanker Heinrich Brussow admits the Springboks will miss injured back-rower Juan Smith in New Zealand. Smith was ruled out of the tournament after failing to recover from an Achilles tendon injury he suffered during the early stages of the Super Rugby competition.

"We are going to miss having an influential player and leader like Juan at the World Cup," said Brussow. "He makes a huge impact on the field, and although we will all be giving it our best from the word go, he is one of those players that is also a great role model and someone I have a lot of respect for."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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