It’s de Villiers’ time
8 February 2018
GREAT excitement and optimism are sweeping across the Zimbabwe Rugby Union and the entire rugby fraternity that marks the dawn of a new era upon the appointment of Peter de Villiers as the new XV’s (Sables) head coach yesterday.
de Villiers, the former Springboks coach, takes charge of the Sables on a two-year contract which also sees Brendan Dawson – an ex-Sables coach- returning to national team structures as assistant coach.
After hugely disappointing past two seasons in the Africa Cup, de Villiers and Dawson know the challenge that awaits them in the 2018 edition and the pressure for the desired results.
But de Villiers, a man who has seen it all at the highest level, is keeping his feet on the ground calling for a collective and integrative approach from all stakeholders for the Sables to realise their potential.
“I know we can change this whole thing around but as I said in my speech, for me to think that our coming here will change Zimbabwean rugby there is no way this will happen.
“We, me, you, the players, the sponsors, the whole country and if we stand together, support each other, be honest with each other I think then we will get to a point where we will start loving ourselves, loving our rugby and supporting our nation again,” he said.
The Sables get their 2018 Africa Gold Cup campaign rolling on June 16 at home against Morocco –an assignment de Villiers states as his immediate target.
de Villiers said he will be involved in all rugby activities starting from schools going up and make sure all structures are fully functional to feed the national level sufficiently.
Meanwhile, Dawson returns to the Sables set up after a three-year hiatus. He looks forward to a new chapter under de Villiers.
“It’s a great privilege to be here and to be part of it, to be brought back into the system; I am very grateful for that. It’s my life and Zimbabwe Rugby is my life so it’s great to be accepted back into the fold.
“It’s a hell of an exciting prospect. I mean when you look at Peter’s record and what he has been doing with the Springboks you know he was a coach trying to inspire to be better and better.”
He added: “He has got a wealth of experience so what I am gonna do I am gonna be able to feed off that and evolve as a coach myself.
“I believe that if you are a coach and think that you have learnt everything then you are not going to be a good or successful coach.”