In the Hotseat - Peter de Villiers from Joburg
August 25, 2011
Every week we give readers of BOKzine the opportunity to ask questions of South African rugby personalities. Simply sign up for our weekly fan newsletter, BOKzine, by clicking here!

Due to the Bok squad announcement and a team building exercise, Peter's answers only appears in Bokzine this week. Apologies for this, he just did not have the time to get to all the emails last week.

Your Question: To win, why not play "14 man rugby" and have a specialized 95% plus kicker as an extra number 15 for defense only? he only goes beyond the 22m line when necessary. He has scientifically designed personalized boots weighted correctly etc with a built in programmed GPS/computer to eliminate as many variables as possible. – Pat Moran

Answer: Jeesh Pat, I think you’re talking with your tongue in your cheek – not sure the IRB would ever allow that.

Your Question: 1. Have you studied how to win against European teams. They are very quick. 2. Did you take your good players for physical training prior to calling them to play australia because one of the boks weakness is that the boys are very slow and will battle to counter attack and counter deffend. 3. Did you study how all blacks and australia play and did you make plans to use their weaknesses to win. – Frans

Answer: Frans, our recent record against European teams speaks for itself, I'd say. Last year we played them seven times and won six, including three away from home. 2. Yes we did and they are still improving on their match fitness, but we knew it was going to be tough late in the match against the Aussies. 3. Yes we did. It worked against NZ, and almost worked against the Aussies.

Your Question: Hi Peter, I do not doubt your rugby knowledge but more your character. This was highlighted in the recent "injured players" debacle. Question 1: How many of those players would you have played if it was the RWC quater final agains Wales (as an example)? 2: Do you not think that this decision was an insult to Australia, New Zealand and the Springbok jersey? – Andrew Aldridge

Answer: Andrew, the fact is it wasn't a RWC quarter-final and we decided not to risk any players who were carrying injuries into the build up to RWC. No disrespect to anyone. The All Blacks rested a number of players for the PE test, but it had nothing to do with us. We play who we see in front of us and I'd like to think they approach it the same.

Your Question: Dear Mr de Villiers, thank you to you and the team for all the hard work you do! We will support you, regardless of the results! You have all been blessed with great talent - but more importantly, you have been given an opportunity to use your gifts to bless the world! Can the Springboks pray on the field before RWC matches like they sometimes do? GO BOKKE!! – Jacques Nel

Answer: Thanks so much Jacques. We pray before matches in the dressing room and some players, like Bakkies, do it on the field. It's a personal thing.

Your Question: Hi Peter. The past 2 home games have shown SA's improvement in defence and shows that they have the ability to win knock out world cup matches. But don’t you think that the Boks will also need to score tries as well to match the All blacks dangerous score tally? In NZ with conditions and grounds and crowds familiar to AB's will Bok rugby outclass NZ rugby? WIN THE WORLD CUP! – Enoch

Answer: Enoch, past RWCs have come down to defence and kicking, and we're expecting the same this time, especially with evening kick offs in wet and cool New Zealand. Winning is all that matters to us, there are no bonus points up for grabs in the knockout stages.

Your Question: My son is 7 yrs old and has a strong mind for his age. He supports the All Blacks and no more Bokke. Reasons: All Blacks play spectacular rugby, loves Daniel Carter and he says the Boks are too old and slow.He loves rugby knows almost every player in the Tri Nations. Pieter, what do I tell my son? Kind regards and God Bless. – Ronald Nothnagel

Answer: Hi Ronald, tell him that if he dreams of being an All Black it will never come true for him. Give your son hope and tell him to dream of being a Springbok – because that can come true.

Your Question: Hi P.Just a question, why if we are 13 points ahead (against NZ), haven't scored a try-1 minute left to go, kick the ball in touch to end the game!? Where's that heart to absolutely thrash a team, can't help but feel NZ was there for the taking, and we missed the oppurtunity. They beat us 40-7 with a second string side. As Springboks we mustn't settle for ordinary..but rather for excellence. – Robert

Answer: Test match rugby is about winning and in the history of Tests between South Africa and New Zealand, our win by 13 points was actually the Boks’ third largest the Boks have ever enjoyed.

Your Question: Ek wil net weet wat soek John Smit nog in die span elke keer as hy op kom gaan die spel agteruit en anders om laat dit jou nie dink nie daar is baie beter spelers as hy? - Johan Dippenaar

Answer: Johan, hy is ons kaptein vir die Wereldbeker. Ons sal hom so goed as moontlik inspan, sowel as die twee ander hakers in die span.

Johan asked what is John Smit still doing in the team and Peter said he is our RWC captain and that all the hookers in the team will be utilised properly NZ.

Your Question: congrats on the win u proved that that game plan still works. i'm having trouble with how easily our defense got breached. can u please consider getting paul treu in from 7s to give our backline some moves to try and get a try please. just a thought. and keep the forwards out of the backline. how easily do the opposition get around smit? - jarryd de Vries

Answer: Thanks Jarryd, we needed that win. We have a new defence coach in Jacques Nienaber and he's working very hard with the guys. There were some lapses, you're right, but we were very pleased with our scramble defence as well.

Your Question: most of the Springboks players who returned from injuries (or rest)appeared unfit, this weekend against the All Blacks will be our final Tri Nations match, won't it be beneficial for us to schedule a warm-up match?which may also provide us with necessary momentum going forward.time shouldn't be an issue. - Hanjo

Answer: Hanjo, it’s a long season and peaking at the right time is the object of the exercise. We have seven tough matches ahead of us and being in perfect shape for match No 7 is the first prize.

Your Question: Dear Peter, the players seemed unfit in the test in Durban, why did we not plan another warm up match for the weekend of the 27th to get the guys fit for the World Cup? Surely there is enough time between then and travelling? Thanks for all your hard work, looking forward to the Boks kicking butt! - Hanno Uys

Answer: Hi Hanno, it would have been good to have had another warm-up match but the schedule is too crammed and the rugby demands on the players are very heavy as it is.

Your Question: Have you sorted out the kick off ball? The Boks was beat almost all the times when they had to secure kick off ball. And I did not see any one time that the Boks were able to make it difficult for their oponents to catch or secure the ball when we kick off - all our kicks were much too deep! - Zurk

Answer: Hi Zurk, you’ve spotted a very important area of the modern game and one we are normally very good at. We improved against New Zealand in this area and will keep on working hard at it.

Your Question: 1. Please improve on defending the last man in the line. We need to spread across the field when we are defending. Every team Boks play win because they used the space on the chicken line were there was no deffence. 2. We need Mujati please why cant the minister give him SA residence. - Tich

Answer: 1. I think we did well in this regard against NZ, Tich. We're working hard at getting our defence spot on with Jacques Nienaber.

Your Question: Hi Peter, just wanted to give my support to you and the players. Everyone has an opinion on a coaches choices, but given the challenges you've faced I think you've done admirably and made the best of situations. We may not always win, but it's obvious everyone gives their all regardless, and your passion for the Boks and rugby is clear. Lets win that World Cup!! - Graham

Answer: Graham, what a pleasure to get a message like this. We're going to New Zealand to win and will do anything we can to bring the Webb Ellis Cup home.

Your Question: Dear Peter I believe we can win the WC, but do have questions. Do you really think John Smit deserve his place in the squad, as we all know there are at least FOUR other better hookers in SA? His presence surely makes the other guys in the team negative. Please keep Lambie at numer 15 and use players in positions they know and played in for their regions/clubs. - Tjaart Coetzee

Answer: Yes Tjaart, I do. It's your opinion on who the better hookers are, but none of them have played and captained in so many tests, so we're happy to have John there because he brings so much. On Lambie - he's such a talented player, we'll use him where we think he can be best utilised for a specific game. Pity he got injured against New Zealand, we would've liked to see more of him at 15.

Your Question: Peter, im living in NZ but my blood is still green. I was just wondering what you think is going well with the boks and what you think we need to work a little harder on? backing you all the way. - Lesh

Answer: Lesh, thanks for the support. Unfortunately I don't have enough time, but basically we have to keep on working hard at EVERYTHING we do...

Your Question: Hi Peter Every time you said we got a plan, look like the plan not working , why using John on tight head biggest mistake, making a fool out of the man. - Neville

Answer: Thanks for your mail, Neville, I'll never make a fool out of John but when the team needs someone to move out of their comfort zone he is the first to do it.

Your Question: Don't you think more cultural diversities is needed in our Bokkies? - Ursula Candasamy

Answer: Interesting question Ursula, but my job is to win rugby matches first and foremost. Bu tour team is culturally diverse and we embrace that – but first and foremost we believe that by winning we are uniting South Africans.

Your Question: wat gaan an met die span. wil julle nie wen nie of hou se n mens dit vir die fans. trek julle sokkies op manne. - johan storm

Answer: Ons wil wen Johan. En gelukkig het ons ons laaste toets gewen. Nog sewe, dan is almal weer happy!

Johan asked what is wrong with the Boks, and Peter said they won the last test and are aiming at seven more victories this season.

Your Question: Hi Peter, how do you feel our preparations for the world cup are now, having faced arguably the best two contenders for the world cup? - Jason

Answer: Jason, I feel very good, there is still work to be done but this squad is excited and ready. I thought we did well in our last two tests, even though we won only one of them.

Your Question: I would like to know if all the springbok players gets the same salaries and what if thy sit on the bench do they still gets paid? I think there must be a rule to say that if you get sent of to the "sin pin" the player must not get paid for the time thy sit there because then thy don't play.....Good luck with the game and I am a big fan and support the boks no matter what. Regards. - Christel Cloete

Answer: Christel, you can relax because selection has absolutely nothing to do with anything except what the team needs and player form. Thanks for the support.

Your Question: Hi Peter, are the Boks going to coming to Cape Town before the RWC? We are dying here for a photo-and-autograph opportunity and also to the the guys know that our "Blood is Green". There is a lot of talk about the fitness of players. We often see clips of the team doing drills and on the scrum machine. Yet we never see them doing running exercises like we do with other overseas teams. Do the Boks use modern sprinting parachutes or something similar? Goodluck in RWC, bring the Cup home like we know you will- Kevin Stewart

Answer: Unfortunately not Kevin, our time is already very limited. I think it’s just that the TV producers think there’s more excitement in hitting tackle bags or a scrum machine – the guys do plenty of running but it’s not as graphic TV.

Your Question: Hi Coach, don't you thinks sticking to the basic's should come to an end. Its very predictable & everybody can read our game plan weeks before the game. Dont youthink we start from bulletjie rugby to implement some flair? - bob hartlief

Answer: Bob, flair is a good thing in rugby, but the margins in test rugby have become so small, that the basics are still the most important. We don't care if other people know what we're going to do, as long as we execute it perfectly, we know they will struggle to contain us.

Your Question: There are many detractors that say that you're not the best man for the job and that you should resign. I don't share that sentiment.MY question... Do you read these negative comments and what influence does it have on your preparation for RWC2011? and 'everybody is entitled to his/her own opinion" is not an answer. - Francois Lee

Answer: Francois, thanks, it's always nice to get some support. I see negative comments, yes, but they don't influence me.

Your Question: Firstly Peter and the team we are 100% behind you! Currently I, and many others, find Springbok rugby boring and predicatable due to the lack of backline creativity. What are you going to do about centres Jacque Fourie and Jean De Villiers failure to create try scoring oppurtunities, considering they come from the S15 team that score the least tries. - Kevin Rack

Answer: Thanks Kevin. Like I said, we'll play to our strenghts and what we think is best against our opposition. We know what Jean and Jaque can do and trust they will show this in New Zealand.

Your Question: Please explain to me (a level 2 national coach) Firstly what in the blazes is Ashley Johnston doing in the squad? He is not a loose forward let alone a number 8 (he is a typical lock forward)- does not follow play ,is always lazing about and has no clue as to what he is supposed to be doing. He is just a battering ram and nothing more. - K.P.

Answer: I think Ashley's game has improved immensely this year and Naka Drotske would agree with me there. He was unlucky to miss out, but is on our standby list. He is a superb ball carrier, quite fast for a big man and a good defender. But definitely too short for a lock, don't you think?

Your Question: Well done on the success over the weekend. One concerning matter is no player is better than the team, and Bismarck's disgusting behaviour towards being substituted went against this principle. Will the Bok management discipline him to set an example before the RWC that the Boks are a team and players shouldn't feel they are better than the team. - Brendan Sutcliffe

Answer: Thanks Brendan. Bismarck is a fighter and wants to play and I like that in him. We sat on Sunday after the game and discussed where we are headed and there’s no question of action – I’m not going to discipline someone for wanting to play for the Springboks.

Your Question: I think I speak for the vast majority of Springbok Rugby fans in stating that in the storied history of Springbok rugby, no single man has ever before generated such a despicable black mark on South Africa’s national sport. Sir – you alone have this single accomplishment to look back on. Do you also deserve a medal for this? - Glenn

Answer: Glenn, you're entitled to your opinions. The joking comment you’re talking about was taken out of context as it was a throw-away line at the end of an explanation of how ANY Springbok coach has to battle to get players from different playing systems into one style within two weeks of getting together as the Boks. Every Bok coach deserves a medal for taking that on.

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