Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Munster announced earlier this week that theyve signed South African player of the year for 2008, center Jean De Villiers. De Villiers is on his way, moving from his beloved Western Province as soon as the current Tri Nations is over.
That is, if Western Province agree to release him early so that he will be eligible for the Heineken Cup, which has a deadline for registration by mid September. His current contract runs until mid October.
The 28 year old De Villiers is close to reaching the milestone of 50 caps for the Springboks, scoring 85 Test points in the process. He has proven to be a key player with his ability to read the game, most notably with his trademark intercept tries.
While to many intercept tries are considered lucky, there is a fine skill in mastering it. De Villiers said in a recent interview that he's been doing it since he was 14 years old, so there's no luck involved, just precision judgement.
At times injury prone, De Villiers has had bad luck in the past with unfortunate timing. He was part of Jake Whites U21 World Cup winning side, forming a center partnership with Clyde Rathbone.
When De Villiers received his Bok call-up, he injured his knee within the first few minutes of the Test, against France in 2002. He missed the 2003 World Cup because of that. In 2007 he was again unlucky, missing the tournament finale with yet another injury.
Hes bounced back from set backs though and when at his best and fittest, is a center of the highest quality, possessing creativity, speed, and power.
Hes captained the Springboks and the Stormers, and is a stand out guy both on and off the pitch. He will be a great addition to the Munster side, with Province and South African fans sad to see him go.
His namesake, South African coach Peter De Villiers, isnt keen to pick players who ply their trade abroad. This Tri Nations may well be the last time we see JDV in a Springbok jersey.
We've included a short tribute video that shows a bit of JDV in action over the years. Munster fans should be delighted at another quality signing.
Note: The claim at the end is made by the person who created the video, not RD itself. Try restrain yourselves BOD fans.