In the Hot Seat - Jean de Villiers from Durban
June 06, 2013
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: hi jean....good luck with the upcoming games. are the bokke going to use these games against "weaker" sides to blood some of the youth we have coming through? From Franco

JEAN ANSWERS: Hi Franco – not sure who you are referring to when you speak about “weaker” sides? You’re aware Italy and Scotland finished above France and Ireland in the Six Nations and that Samoa are currently ranked seventh in the world? Yes, they may be ranked lower than us, but we respect all our opponents and will give everything we have to win these Tests. Having said that, it’s nice to see the younger players coming through and if the Coach sees opportunities to reward them for their good form, I’m sure he will make a plan to play them.

Your Question: Hi Jean. Sterkte for the boys for the upcoming Tests. We are looking forward to seeing our beloved Boks play again. My vraag - watse area van die Bokke se spelpatroon is prioriteit om te verbeter hierdie jaar? Breakdown? Agterlyn? Offloads? Iets anders? Green and gold forever From Michael

JEAN ANSWERS: Dankie vir die vraag Michael. We’re looking at improving at all aspects of the game and have been working very hard at our two training camps and thus far this week. The coaches have identified the breakdown as one area where a lot of improvement is needed so that has been a part of our focus, but generally we’re looking at making a step up in all areas of the game.

Your Question: Hi Jean My question is this, do you think having been in the hot seat last season, that the pressure on you as captain will be less or more this time round. I would just like too wish you and the team that comes together all of the best for the season. Thanks Iain

JEAN ANSWERS: There is always pressure Iain – it’s part of the game. I’m now one year more experienced in terms of the Springbok captaincy than I was at this stage last year, but as a team we’ve also grown and the other leaders in the squad, like Adriaan, Bismarck, Francois, Pierre and Bryan are all helping me quite a lot.

Your Question: What do you think your chances are of winning the Rugby Championship? Where did the Boks of 2012 fall short, and what is being done to ensure those failures aren't repeated in 2013? From Wes

JEAN ANSWERS: That is difficult Wes – we’ve not yet played and we’ve not seen what the Argentineans, Australians and New Zealanders look like. Like I said earlier, we’re working hard to improve on 2012, when we were a young team with new management. We finished the year strongly in Ireland, Scotland and England and that will be the base from which we would want to work this year – we conceded one try in three Tests and missed only one lineout, but our discipline needs to improve this year.

Your Question: Hi Captain, Hard luck this season with the Stormers. Hopefully things will go better with the Boks. Just wanted to ask if you and other players would like to do what Richie McCaw is with the sabbatical thing..? From CJ

JEAN ANSWERS: Thanks CJ! It’s difficult to answer, because when we sign our contracts, we know what is expected of us. In the end, playing the game is what we love to do and prefer to do week in and week out. Player management and welfare is something the okes at the top look at and I know it’s important to them.

Your Question: Hi Jean Don't you miss playing attacking, open rugby, the style that made Western Province and Stormers' fans feel their team was special? Regards Alan Galante

JEAN ANSWERS: Hi Alan – when the opportunity is there to play open and attacking rugby, we’ll always do that. Remember our game last year against the Wallabies at Loftus? We’re obviously with the Boks now, so that is where my focus is. Sure you understand!