Divvy fighting for Kings job
REACTION: Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers is pulling out all the stops in an attempt to revive his flagging coaching career.
De Villiers has come out swinging, following reports that he was out of the race for the Southern Kings coaching job because he does not have the necessary qualifications.
Weekend media reports in South Africa suggested that De Villiers was not in possession of a Level Three coaching certificate – despite the fact that he was the coach of the South African national side for four years.
The Port Elizabeth-based Herald newspaper reported that New Zealander Steve Jackson, the current Samoan national team coach, was now the favourite to step into the vacancy – created by the axing of Deon Davids earlier this year.
Other candidates – Worcester Warriors coach Rory Duncan and Cheetahs forwards coach Corniel van Zyl – have recently stepped out of the race.
It left Jackson and De Villiers as the only remaining candidates from the original shortlist.
If Jackson is appointed, he will only be able to join the Kings after the World Cup and will miss the start of their Pro14 campaign, which kicks off on September 28.
In the meantime, De Villiers hit back at media reports suggesting he does not have the required qualifications.
De Villiers posted proof of his qualification – the required Level Three certificate, obtained in 1996 through the Welsh Rugby Union – on his Facebook page.
“I don’t know what people hope to achieve by spreading such lies,” De Villiers said.
“The adjudicating committee has proof of my qualifications, including my International Level Three coaching qualification,” he added.
De Villiers said that he trusts the process and believes the adjudicating committee will be fair and impartial and will not allow rumours and lies to influence their decision.
“It is with great concern that it has been stated that I do not have a Level Three coaching certificate.
“This is unfortunate and deliberately designed by various media channels to continue to malign me and prevent me from succeeding in my current interview process with The Kings.”
Former president of SA Rugby Oregan Hoskins has also come to de Villiers’ defence.
Hoskins states in a certified affidavit: “Peter became head coach of the Springboks because a technical committee headed by professor Ferreira thoroughly investigated and scrutinized his qualifications.”
De Villiers achieved a 62 percent success rate with the Springboks.
He beat the 2009 British and Irish Lions touring team to South Africa, won the Tri-Nations that years and also whitewashed the All Blacks.
His last act was to take South Africa to a quarterfinal finish at the 2011 World Cup.
His predecessor Jake White helped earn the Springboks the title in 2007 whilst Heyneke Meyer, his successor, coached the side to third place.
De Villiers has come under much scrutiny throughout his career due to his outspoken nature.
Earlier this year, de Villiers was sacked from his role as head coach of Zimbabwe, ostensibly due to taking unauthorised leave.