In the Hot Seat - Jean de Villiers from Cape Town
August 16, 2012
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!

Your Question: Hallo, Jean All the best for the Boks for the upcoming series, what will be different this season with you in command? Best regards, Nick Filander.

Jean answers: Thanks Nick. I won’t try to do anything different and although we’re quite a young side, we still have an experienced core of senior players, who all help with leading the squad.

Your Question: Hi Jean Have you recommended that the Boks use the services of Dr Sheryl Calder, who ensured amazing peripheral vision and reaction time for the 2007 RWC winners? All the best for the Championship? – Felicite Miller

Jean answers: Felicite, we used Dr Calder before and she was a great help, but at the moment our coaching team are doing a great job and I feel we are on the right track with what we are doing.

Your Question: No-one can dispute your excellent playing ability and skill, but a huge question mark has been thrown on your leadership ability after an average performance against the English and yet another Stormers failure. Are you consulting with past captains to improve your leadership skills? Are you getting a leadership group together within the bok group to take the pressure off you? – Brendan Sutcliffe

Jean answers: Thanks for the compliment Brendan! I talk to a lot of people who help me – senior players, former captains, coaches, family and friends – as I believe you can always learn something new. Most rugby players I know thrive on pressure and it’s something we’re putting a lot of emphasis on here at the Boks – your reaction to it could be the difference between winning and losing.

Your Question: What's the best thing about being a professional rugby player? What's the worst? – Jess

Jean answers: Jess, the best would probably be doing what we love most with our friends and the travelling, especially for the younger guys, but for me, being away from my family for too long isn’t always that great – I’m sure you understand!

Your Question: Hi Jean, ek skryf maar in Afrikaans want blykbaar lees die "opposisie" ook Bokzine! Alle grappies op n stokkie, die Bokke kan seker nie wag om verlede jaar se onafgehandelde besigheid met die Wallabies & All Blacks uit te sorteer nie? Vat hulle Manne! SARU en Mnr Watson moet nou net rug reguit maak dat die beste skeidsregters die beste spanne se wedstryde hanteer (opleiding kan elders geskied). – Pieter Oosthuizen

Jean answers: Ons is reg vir aksie Pieter, ek kan jou dit verseker. Ek sal maar eerder nie te veel sê oor die skeidsregters nie, want die media lees ook BOKzine, maar ons is baie gelukkig met die aanstellings en sien uit na ‘n harde reeks teen die bestes ter wêreld!

Your Question: Hello Jean, people are raving about how great New Zealand is at the moment. I think if we just play the right tactic against them, and stick to our game plan, instead of letting them dictate the game. We are a much stronger team which can beat them. How do you guys feel about it? Se Asseblief vir Morne daar is nog baie mense wat in hom glo, en hy sal terug kom waar hy was, en nog beter! – Susan Roman

Jean answers: You’re spot on Susan! But credit to the All Blacks, they are doing very well at the moment and will be tough to beat, but we will be ready for them. Ek sal ook die boodskap aan Morne oordra, baie dankie!

Your Question: Hi Captain, If our alleged friend Suzie had to make dinner for 2 players from NZ, Australia and Argentina who would you hope she would make dinner for? (Carter, McCaw, Pocock and Guinea are not available for dinner in this scenario) In other words - 2 strongest players from each team. – Chris Phillips

Jean answers: Haha Chris – sadly I don’t know anyone named Suzie! This is a tough one, but in the end you want to play your opponents at their best, because the challenge of beating a great team is so much better!

Your Question: 2. Combinations is one of the most difficult problems a coach has to face when forced to start with young talent. Last year SARUGBY MAG had a article about Nonu and Smith. Totally different players on and off the field. The best combination after De Dilliers and Fourie. Why not play De Jongh next to Sadie? Sometimes even the riskiest combinations work. – Oscar

Jean answers: Interesting plan there Oscar, but for now I’d like to see what Frans and myself can come up with! Having said that, Johann Sadie and Juan de Jongh are two great young players, but we also have a lot of other talented players coming through. In the end, you have to use the right combination at the right time.

Your Question: Ever thought of? 1. Oosthuizen 2. Du Plessis 3. kitshoff 4. Bekker 5. Engelbrect 6. Kolisi 7. Minnie 8. Louw 9. Sharks captain 10. Goosen 11. Mvovo 12. De Jongh 13. Sadie 14. Basson 15. Lambie. – Oscar

Jean answers: Like I said before – you pick the strongest available squad for each test. But the point you’re making here is a valid one and that is that we have a lot of great young players in this country! Just not sure how Keegan Daniel will feel that you have him at scrumhalf – hehehe!

Your Question: Hi Jean,good luck on the coming RC,hope the boks take it,Can i give u a team that i think can go all the way?15 lambie 14 Pietersen 13 de villiers 12 steyn 11 habana 10 morne 9 hougaard 8 vermeulen (last 25 mins bring spies on) 7 Wilem alberts 6 Brussouw 5 bekker 4 etzebeth 3 jannie 2 bismark 1 beast What do you think? – Wesley

Jean answers: See my answer above to Oscar. I’m glad you have De Villiers at 13 though, thanks for that! You should be a national selector!

Your Question: Congradulations on your Captaincy. During the recent test series against England, Morne' Steyn missed a total of 10 kicks, will Frans Steyn now be considered as our primary kicker if Morne' displays the same form in the Castle Championship? – Martin Strydom

Jean answers: Thanks Martin! I’m not a kicker, so I’m not sure what they are planning. We have a lot of faith in Morne though – people forget he still kicked 78% in Vodacom Super Rugby this year. Between Morne, Frans, Ruan, Pat Lambie and Elton, we have some great goal kickers in the squad.

Your Question: Jean, I've seen on numerous occasions how our competition win the ball on a counter ruck when our players are standing around contemplating about their next move or to wait for full time. Was this ever discussed over a team talk? – Hector

Jean answers: We work very hard on our play at the breakdowns and reaction time is one of the aspects we’re looking at. Let me assure you we will never give away our ball on a plate to the opposition…but we will try and get theirs as often as possible.

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