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Rugby | International Rugby

De Villiers takes charge of Zim



Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has been appointed the new coach of Zimbabwe rugby.

De Villiers was unveiled in Harare by the Zimbabwe Rugby Union on Wednesday and was reported to have told reporters that it was "the greatest day of my life."

De Villiers, who is known for his colourful quotes, returns to international rugby for the first time in seven years, after coaching the Springboks to the quarterfinal of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

The Boks lost their quarterfinal to Australia 11-9 despite dominating the match in a game that was marred by a refereeing performance by New Zealander Bryce Lawrence which had local fans fuming.

Zimbabwe will hope to join the Boks in the 2019 World Cup, but will need to negotiate a qualifying series against Namibia, Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia and Uganda.

If they do, they will join New Zealand, South AFrica and Italy in Pool B.

De Villiers consulted with the Zimbabwean under-20 team and was thereafter interviewed for the national team post.

De Villiers had a tumultuous time as the Bok coach, often under fire for his statements, but coached the Boks to a series win over the British and Irish Lions in 2009, as well as a Tri Nations victory in the same year.

His win record as Bok coach stood at 62.5 percent, with 30 wins out of 48 before he was axed.

De Villiers struggled to find work since leaving the Boks, with a brief spell as Director of rugby at the University of the Western Cape his only real foray back into rugby.



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