South Africa v Australia, Tri-Nations, Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein could be De Villiers' last stand - reports
September 3, 2010
Peter de Villiers might have given one controversial quote too many © Getty Images
Springbok coach Peter de Villiers could be sacked as soon as Sunday after his latest controversial public comments, according to media reports in South Africa.
De Villiers is in hot water after telling a press conference the Springboks squad supported Bees Roux, accused murderer and Bulls prop.
Roux is facing murder charges after a police officer died in an alleged confrontation with the forward. De Villiers is well known for his outspoken nature but this latest indiscretion has caused a public backlash and is believed to have angered SARU officials given the sensitivity of the issue.
Earlier in this Tri-Nations series, de Villiers caused a stir when he claimed referees were favouring the All Blacks to help build support in New Zealand ahead of next year's World Cup.
Speculation is now building that the Roux comments will prove the final straw and Saturday's Tri-Nations clash with Australia at Bloemfontein will be De Villiers' last in charge of the Springboks.
The world champions' disappointing Tri-Nations campaign on the pitch, which featured three losses to the All Blacks and a defeat by the Wallabies in Brisbane before last week's redeeming win over Australia in Pretoria, certainly won't have helped de Villiers' cause.
South Africa's Times newspaper quoted a SARU official as saying: "We are not only unhappy with what he said regarding the Roux incident, but also over his previous comments."
The local media have been highly critical of de Villiers, with a number of publications predicting his imminent demise while citing SARU's record of firing previous coaches for speaking out of line. Andre Markgraaff was sacked following racist remarks and Nick Mallett saw the exit door after criticising inflated ticket prices for a test.