--%>
Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Springboks

Habana defends De Villiers's captaincy



Springbok winger Bryan Habana has called on fans to give skipper Jean de Villiers more credit for his leadership skills.

Habana used the opportunity to talk about the leadership roles in the team, and praised De Villiers for his leadership skills in the past year, a tough year for Springbok rugby.

The Bok captain is currently in doubt for Saturday’s Castle Lager Incoming Series match against Samoa with a sternum injury, and if he is ruled out, as is expected, the Boks will need to name a new captain.

Adriaan Strauss and Francois Louw are the front-runners to succeed De Villiers if that happens, but Habana and Pierre Spies are the other outsiders along with Bismarck du Plessis.

De Villiers has often been criticised for his play, especially in an under-performing Stormers side this year, but has received the backing of the 2012 SA Rugby Player of the Year, who praised his value to the team.

“Coming into this squad last year, it was a pretty young group of players around. I think myself, Jean (de Villiers) and Frans (Steyn) were the only ones with more than 50 caps. The leadership responsibility is always there and it would be sad to lose Jean. He doesn’t always get the amount of credit he deserves as captain and he was unbelievable this weekend, getting an injury in the first ten minutes and fighting on,” Habana said.

“He made some bold calls in that game and led effectively well. If he isn’t there it will be sad because he has been a great stalwart not only for South African rugby but also for international rugby.”

Questions are often asked about De Villiers’s longevity and whether or not he will make the 2015 World Cup. For that reason the rest he will get if he does sit out this weekend's game won’t necessarily be a bad thing.

Heyneke Meyer has always operated his teams on leadership groups rather than simply a captain and the game will be a perfect opportunity for an understudy to get a chance to shine as leader.

Habana sees this also as a good thing, and said De Villiers’s absence would probably test the rest of the senior leadership group to step up and fulfill the role.

“If he is not going to be there, there will be a lot more opportunity for the rest of the senior group. The leadership group has been together for a long time now. If you look Bismarck is back, Ruan has been there and Adriaan, Pierre and myself have been there for a long time now. We share our thinking in the way the team plays and the coach has allowed us to do that as well,” he added.

If that does happen Habana believes he will be able to take that step up and, more than that, is looking forward to the opportunity to play a more leading role in the team.

“You relish that opportunity and when you have played 85 tests your leadership ability has got to come to the fore. Hopefully my contribution, not only with ball in hand, but in motivating the players will be there. We will have to step up and I’m looking forward to it.”

The Boks will face Samoa in their last game before returning to Vodacom Super Rugby and then the Castle Rugby Championship thereafter.

Shop

The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R114.00
South Africa XV Ball
South Africa XV Ball Now: R119 Was: R200 Format:Sport EquipmentProduct type:SportDelivery:Dispatched within 24 hours (1 working day) This fan ball...
R119.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Gavin Rich
Boks need 'X-factor' coach
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has blamed his team’s laboured attacking game against Italy on the...

Brendan Venter
Boks regain their balance
The Springboks bounced back brilliantly against England at Twickenham and, in my opinion, the final...

Tony Johnson
Classic clashes await in Cardiff
Hi from Cardiff, where today we had some genuine sunshine for the first time since arriving in the...

Brenden Nel
Keep it straight and simple
For all the wonderful hot air we love to spew about the game we love, it remains a battle of...

Alistair Hargreaves
Great to host a vibrant WP
The club season in the Northern hemisphere is long. We played our first match on August 15 and the...