Rugby Union

Jean De Villiers eager to beat New Zealand

Jean De Villiers aims for revenge after two years of hurt (©GettyImages)
Jean De Villiers aims for revenge after two years of hurt (©GettyImages).

New Zealand currently sits as the best team in the world of rugby, but with the Tri Nations taking place later this month South African captain Jean De Villiers is looking to ruin the All Blacks' unbeaten streak.

Steve Hansen's men are looking to retain their Rugby Championship title for a third time after a commanding campaign in 2013, later going on to end the year unbeaten.

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But speaking to The Citizen, as the tournament draws nearer the 33-year-old has promised Springboks' fans that revenge will be sweet, and to remain hopeful.

"It still is a one game at a time approach and our focus is on Argentina," De Villiers said.

"But for us as a team, to go forward, it is important to beat the All Blacks. We haven’t done so in the last two years and that is one of our goals.

"We want to be the best team in the world and we want to get back to number one and to do that we need to beat them."

Rugby Championships

Last season South Africa finished second place having only lost two games both to New Zealand, as they seemed to be comfortable against both Australia and Argentina but when a challenging test came their way Heyneke Meyer's men crumbled.

New Zealand meanwhile are a difficult team to beat, having remained one be of the best teams under Steve Hansen and comfortably getting the better of any team that stands in their way.

As the recent series against England proved their talents and skill against a team tipped to challenge for next years' World Cup.

However with this passion to beat the All Blacks,  De Villiers hasn't forgotten about the other competitors and believes if they can reach their goal of beating New Zealand, another Oceanic team may stand in their way.

"I don’t think the focus is just on them, the Wallaby team will be very competitive this year as well," De Villiers stated.

"We can’t just focus on one team and when you beat them think you’ve made it, but it is one of the boxes we haven’t ticked in the last two years. We want to be able to tick
that box and go into next year confident."

South Africa

Since their World Cup win in 2007, the Springboks haven't really expanded into a dominant side having lost out in the 2011 World Cup to Australia in the quarter-finals 11-9.

Whilst in the last six Tri-Nations, Meyer's men have only secured one championship win which was back in 2009.

There was a period where South Africa were the best team in the world and they need to get back into that form, and the Rugby Championships would be a great stepping stone into reaching that target.

However a problem with South Africa at the moment is this team is an aging side, as 11 members of the 30 man squad sits over 30.
This could bring experience into their favour but at the same time the legs in these players are starting to wear, and the younger Springboks may be needed in such an encounter.

What needs to be recognised is there is still plenty of time before South Africa set off to England for next years' World Cup, and if the Springboks can regain that form that made them a top side back in 2009 then they have as much chance as anyone else.

Hunger

On their day South Africa could beat anyone, and what they need to do is stay in that positive mind-set. If they don't achieve another Rugby Championship title this year there is always the World Cup next year to prove their worth.

This isn't the end of the line for Meyer's team, but what needs to be established is positivity and a hunger for success once more.

Topics:
Australia Rugby
South Africa Rugby
New Zeland Rugby
Rugby Union

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