By de Villiers, PeterBy Rich, Gavin
Throughout his tenure as the first black Springbok coach, Peter de Villiers was in the news, and not always for the right reasons. His battle to be accepted and respected by the rugby fraternity started from the moment his appointment was announced, when his new boss admitted tha...t De Villiers had got the job for reasons 'other than only rugby'. In his four years as Bok coach, De Villiers experienced huge successes -- a series win over the British & Irish Lions and a Tri Nations trophy -- but he also suffered the ignominy of coming last in the Tri Nations and seeing his World Cup dream shattered by the controversial officiating of referee Bryce Lawrence. In addition, his outspoken nature and colourful application of the metaphor alternately amused and horrified South African rugby fans, and his close relationship with his senior players begged the question: Who was coaching whom? Now, in his autobiography, De Villiers answers this question and addresses many more: How he managed to progress from the dusty streets of Paarl as a rugby-mad youngster to the highest job in South African rugby; why his employers tried to manipulate him but failed; why he stuck with John Smit as captain in the 2011 Rugby World Cup; and where his passion for rugby will lead him next. If rugby fans thought they knew Peter de Villiers before reading this book, they will think differently afterwards.Read more
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Peter de Villiers played for Griquas and Boland in the SARU leagues before retiring to coach his club, Young Gardens in Paarl. After obtaining a Level 4 Higher Graduate coaching certificate from the Welsh Rugby Union, he quickly progressed through the ranks in Western Cape rugby, coaching the SA under-19 team for three years before leading the SA under-21 team to a Junior World Cup triumph in 2005. He was appointed Springbok coach in 2008. Gavin Rich has been covering South African rugby for 21 years, having started his career as rugby writer for the Natal Mercury in 1991. He has covered several Springbok tours for various local publications and radio stations, including the Independent Group, Supersport.com and the Weekend Argus, and won the Sasol Springbok Rugby Writer of the Year award in 2010.
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