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Too many white players turn blacks against Boks, says de Villiers

Date

Duncan Johnstone

Bryan Habana was only one of three non-white players in the Springboks team that played New Zealand on Saturday night.

Bryan Habana was only one of three non-white players in the Springboks team that played New Zealand on Saturday night. Photo: Getty Images

Controversial former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers hasn't taken long to criticise the new set-up, labelling Heyneke Meyer's South African squad "too white".

With two wins, two draws and two losses from his first six tests in charge, Meyer is under pressure to get the Boks firing for their home Rugby Championship tests against the Wallabies and All Blacks.

He might be under pressure to change his mix of players too, if De Villiers' campaign gathers pace.

Peter de Villiers (R) with former Springboks analyst Peter Maimane at the World Cup last year. Maimane died last week ...

Peter de Villiers (R) with former Springboks analyst Peter Maimane at the World Cup last year. Maimane died last week after a short illness. Photo: Getty Images

De Villiers, the first non-white head coach of the Boks, from 2008-11, isn't happy with the racial composition of the current side

"It's just the little things that bother me. We need to know in what country we do live. And at this moment we are turning a lot of black people against ourselves by making the team white and nobody will talk about these things but I just have to. And that is what... actually we're breaking up our country again," De Villiers told Ballz Radio in an interview in South Africa.

The Springboks started three non-white players against the All Blacks in Dunedin last weekend - wing Bryan Habana, fullback Zane Kirchner and prop Tendai Mtwarira. Backline utility de Jongh came off the bench.

"We do have a lot of great [black] players who can make a difference. You have Gio Aplon - here in Cape Town - who can make a hell of a difference. You've got Juan de Jongh, an exciting player who can make a difference. We never played (Siya) Kolisi - who's now injured, he was never given a chance," said De Villiers, who is director of rugby at the University of the Western Cape, after losing the Springboks job following last year's World Cup quarter-final exit.

"There are a lot of players like Chiliboy Ralepelle (who is also injured). He was the one guy who can make that 10 per cent difference that you need from a replacement to come onto the field.

"We're turning all the black support against the Springboks. Wherever I go I hear people talking negative about the Springboks."

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