Super Rugby
De Villiers fires shot at Sonny Bill
ESPNscrum Staff
May 10, 2011

South Africa coach Peter De Villiers has launched an attack on Sonny Bill Williams, accusing the Crusaders centre of setting a bad example to young players.

In an interview with the Union Sports Mag, De Villiers criticised the midfielder's off-loading style and insisted that he neglected the game's core skills.

Williams, capped four times on New Zealand's Grand Slam tour in 2011, is set to be a major cog in the All Blacks' Tri-Nations and Rugby World Cup bids after making a flying start to life in Super Rugby.

The former Kiwis league international returned to New Zealand in 2010 following a spell in France with Toulon, taking up with Canterbury and the Crusaders. Last weekend his one-handed offload set up a try for Sean Maitland as the Crusaders overcame the Stormers 20-14 in Cape Town.

"I hope he will mature his game," he said. "He's doing everything wrong what rugby principles require of you in the game. Backhand passes shouldn't be the norm... it has become the norm, now everyone wants to do that kind of nonsense.

"This kind of non-rugby stuff he's doing, if it comes off it's brilliant, but do you have control over these kind of things? If you get to the international level where people work you out, then you have to be in control of what you're doing. He'll spend hours and hours on the things that are not important and never master the most important things of rugby."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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