June 18, 2024

De Villiers looking to tame Springbok pack

PARIS – Scotland assistant coach Pieter de Villiers says his side is looking forward to take on the Springboks in the set-piece when they clash in their opening game of the Rugby World Cup in Marseille on Sunday.

The 51-year-old South African born tight head prop represented France from 1999 to 2007 in 68 test matches.
He said his side is well prepared for the expected physical onslaught from the Boks massive pack of forwards will bring.
Besides having to two SA born props in Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel in their front row, the Scots also boast a dangerous back line with the massive Duhan van der Merwe on the wing.

“You can never hide from the set-piece. It is about taking them on, it’s always about that one-on-one physicality. There is no hiding in the set-piece,” De Villiers said on Tuesday.

De Villiers confirmed the Scott’s  are preparing the team specifically for the huge physical challenge that the Springboks will bring.

“The training week is similar to what we have been doing, but it’s been adapted to what we want to get right for the World Cup.

“There will be some tactical and strategic things that are specific to South Africa. But we also want to keep doing things the way we have been doing them.”

The Malmesbury-born Frenchman is however aware that it is not going to be an easy task to tame his former countrymen.

“They are world champions, but it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to play against them. They have recently shown why they are champions (beating New Zealand in a warm-up match).

“They did well against the All Blacks and excelled in their strengths which is the set-piece and defence.

“We know what will be coming our way. Each team has got different super-strengths.

“It’s about the team that is going to do the best in bringing those to the table and making sure we impose how we want to play. That’s really important.”

De Villiers regards it as particularly special to be able to coach against his home nation.

“It’s always the same. They are all very special moments. For the players who have worked so hard for a long time, getting to participate in this is really special.

“As a coach you don’t have that extra special feeling of being on the field but the pleasure of working with players and helping them and the team grow is a huge satisfaction.”


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