SARU congratulates De Villiers on 100 Tests
September 16, 2014
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers was on Monday congratulated by Mr Oregan Hoskins, president of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) on the landmark of a century of Test appearances for his country.

He becomes the fifth South African to have achieved the feat, hard on the heels of team-mate Bryan Habana, who reached the mark the week before.

De Villiers returned to South Africa on Sunday, following the team’s nail-biting defeat to New Zealand, 14-10, in Wellington on Saturday. His 100th cap (and 28th as captain) came 11 years 10 months and five days after his debut against France in Marseille.

“Jean’s contribution to South African rugby and the Springboks over such an extended period has been immense,” said Mr Hoskins.

“The respect in which he is held as a player, a captain and as a person was evident from the media coverage in the build-up to Saturday’s Test. He is a not only a great player but also a great ambassador for Springbok rugby and our country. “It is a desperate shame that he and Bryan could not mark their incredible achievements with victories, but the measure of them both is that they will have been more disappointed for the team than for themselves.”

Jean de Villiers followed fellow centurions, Percy Montgomery in 2008 (102 Tests), John Smit, 2010 (111), Victor Matfield, 2010, (115) and Bryan Habana, 2014 (101) into the record books.

In his century of Tests he has become the most capped Springbok centre (85) and is joint fifth on the all-time try scorers list with 25.

“Saturday’s result should not detract from Jean’s achievements,” said Mr Hoskins.

“He has contributed significantly to the Springbok legacy and set a gold standard when it comes to how a Springbok should conduct himself on and off the field.

“He is quick witted with a sharp sense of humour but he has never used that t belittle others and has always respected the camaraderie and traditions of the game.

“He has carried that presence of mind onto the field and has always played the game in the way that the Laws intended, which has made him such an effective leader.

“His style of play and the manner in which he has conducted himself over the years will make Jean one of the Springboks’ most revered players for as long they talk about rugby in South Africa.

“I am sure that that question of what his legacy will be is far from his thoughts right now. I am sure that the only thing on his mind right now will be the team and on recording a victory in our next Test.”

The Springboks are next in action against Australia at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on 27 September.

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