By Victor Tawasika
As Peter de Villiers, starts his tenure as the Zimbabwe senior rugby national team coach (The Sables), here some of the facts why Zimbabwe rugby and sport fraternity should be excited and optimistic.
Firstly the former Springboks coach’s CV speaks depth of international experience having guided South Africa to the 2007 Nations Cup title.
With a coaching career spanning to over two decades De Villiers brings wealth of experience, starting at amateur club Tygerberg in 1996 and 1997, Western Province Disas also in 1997.
Peter Devilliers has coached Western Province as assistant coach and also the South Africa national under-19 side, which he took to third in the 1999 Under 19 Rugby World Championship and Falcons through the 2002 and 2003 Currie Cup campaigns.
He also returned to international coaching taking charge of the South Africa national under-21 rugby union team between 2004 and 2006 where In the 2004 Under 21 Rugby World Championship, South Africa finished third and won it in 2005 before coming second in 2006.
Peter de Villiers was appointed Springboks coach in 2007 as a relatively unknown figure much to the amazement of the international rugby fraternity becoming the first black coach but proved his critics wrong during his time in charge with 62.5 percentage winning record this goes to show his self-belief, outspoken and hunger to archive the best.
On top of his successes stories is, managing South Africa to winning the 2009 Tri Nations, a test series win over the British and Irish Lions and a memorable first victory over New Zealand in Dunedin.
However with every good side of the story comes the controversial part and Peter de Villiers has been a man not short of it drawing back to his first training one of the senior members Ricky Januarie for disciplinary issues this goes on to show his strictness and respect for professionalism, although he was criticized for his decision he went on to win 43–17 and 37–21 against Wales and 26–0 against Italy in Incoming Tours before losing 19–8 to the All Blacks where he accused New Zealand of cheating in the process making another controversy though he later apologized.
Peter de Villiers left his role as the Springboks coach in 2011 at the end of his contract after pledging not renew his contract after a 11–9 defeat to Australia in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final.
De Villiers was grateful for his appointment just as he did following his appointment as Sables coach and stated that he left South African rugby is in a good state surging forward.
The Sables coach has promised to unite the nation through sport and trying to lead the Sables to World Cup qualification for Japan 2019 for the first time since 1991.
Peter de Villiers was born on 3 June 1957 in Paarl, South Africa and is a former South African rugby union player and coach which help much in his understanding of the game on first-hand experience.
To sum it up here are some legendary quotes from Peter de Villiers, “I have got a job to do. I think I am a strong individual, a strong character. I do not care what people think about me. I do not care what people say about me. It is what I think about me and myself – and I love myself a lot.
“I always knew I was destined for something big – but I did not realise it would be this big (Springbok coach). Whatever job I did I always excelled at it, and quickly. Time is not a concern to me and I will work 24 hours to get a job done, knowing hard work is always rewarded.”
“I will not change my style. If I change my style I will change Peter de Villiers and then I would have to tell God that he made a mistake when he made me.’’