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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jean De Villiers on his way to Munster

Jean De Villiers on his way to Munster

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.


Time: 02:27
Note: The claim at the end is made by the person who created the video, not RD itself. Try restrain yourselves BOD fans.

Posted at 2:31 pm | 93 comments

Viewing 93 comments

BB July 22, 2009 2:00 pm

hardly the world's greatest centre, but does have a handy eye for the interception. Fantastic signing for Munster!

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Anonymous July 22, 2009 2:05 pm

Worlds greatest center is a bold claim indeed. He may be there or there about in first center him and Nonu and Roberts and Jouzion are all up there. But as regards to center none of them have a patch on BOD. Great signing though. Nice to see Munster getting him with all that money in france and all.

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Anonymous July 22, 2009 2:10 pm

Great signing, but definately not the worlds greatest centre, Nonu, Roberts and BOD are streets ahead!!

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FrankyH July 22, 2009 2:13 pm

How can Roberts be streets ahead after having one great Test match against the Springboks for the Lions? He was totally shut down after that, and I dont recall him being a world beater for Wales either. He's 22 for petes sake lol

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ConnachtFan July 22, 2009 2:17 pm

Wonder if Munster will partner him with Earls or Mafi in centre?

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Paul Gormley July 22, 2009 2:19 pm

while i hold jdv in the highest regard, and indeed a superb coup for us, i must say that i amnt best pleased about it.
Munster have always had a policy of nuturing homegrown players into seasoned internationals ie horan,flannery,hayes,o callaghan, o connell, quinlan, wallace, leamy, o leary, stringer, o gara, barry murphy to name but a few of the current munster squad!
There is one very important person i am leaving out, someone seen as the next big thing in irish rugby and well hes proved it already at the tender age of 21 and that is keith earls. at 19 he was told to bulk up, last season he had according to o gara "the biggest impact in their debut season since wilkinson".
i pose the question where is he going to play? you cannot drop dowling or howlett on the wings, neither can u drop mafi or warwick, and im pretty sure munster fans will obviously be excited by the quality player that is jean de villiers but would echo my belief that they would much rather home grown talent in team.

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Hackney Griffin July 22, 2009 2:25 pm

Hoe grown talent is all well and good - but I think Munster more than any other club side have shown that a balance with seasoned internationals is needed to succeed at the highest level (HC) now. Would they have had the success of the last year or two with the Kiwi connection in the back line? Course not.

With so much rugby played over a season it doesn't hurt a team to have options in every position. And a player like Earls benefits at club lever by offering cover for a number of positions.

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Hackney Griffin July 22, 2009 2:25 pm

Hoe grown talent is all well and good - but I think Munster more than any other club side have shown that a balance with seasoned internationals is needed to succeed at the highest level (HC) now. Would they have had the success of the last year or two with the Kiwi connection in the back line? Course not.

With so much rugby played over a season it doesn't hurt a team to have options in every position. And a player like Earls benefits at club lever by offering cover for a number of positions.

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dj July 22, 2009 2:32 pm

agree with frankyH but pauls got a point too. dowlings prob gona have to drop to the bench..
also tho, didnt muster sign that fella felix jones from leinster for fullback??and they already have denis hurley there for back up so they have 4 fullbacks, 5 if you count dougie. but surely their main concern is to find a young flyhalf with loads of potential and to start moulding him into a world class one.
cant wait to see what they do this season, the double is on the cards with the squad they have!!

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Anonymous July 22, 2009 2:54 pm

Whether JDV is or is not the worlds best centre is up for debate, but watching a 2 min vid of him intercepting passes hardly makes a pressing case. In fact, on that basis, Bryan Habana can also be called the worlds best centre...

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sullatron July 22, 2009 2:59 pm

good player but not the worlds best centre. gonna make leinster munster interesting tho, wonder if this guy'll remake the video once jdv has been walked all over by BOD? shame they didnt show the twickenham interception he butchered!

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Paul Gormley July 22, 2009 3:13 pm

im just being skeptical.. i kust want to see the best of homegrown talent, and whilst i funlly appreciate in order to improve we needed better quality players from abroad, and i do idolise both mafi and dougie, i think we should be putting faith in what we have.. and i dont agree with the outhalf thing. we have warwick who is only 28 who can play as well as o gara at outhalf. and there is an academy player playing irish 20s, was irish schools captain, andrew burke where huge things are expected from so i think we will be grand there. its the props where we need strenghtening. hayes is 35, freddy had retired and buckley is injury prone.

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Paul Gormley July 22, 2009 3:15 pm

re:Hoe grown talent is all well and good - but I think Munster more than any other club side have shown that a balance with seasoned internationals is needed to succeed at the highest level (HC) now. Would they have had the success of the last year or two with the Kiwi connection in the back line? Course not.

how many kiwis were in the starting line up when munster won the heineken in 2006????

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A wise man once July 22, 2009 3:18 pm

De Villiers can cut a defence in two, hes intelligent, a good defender, a try scorer and he has pace to burn. Where he will play is questionable but he is a fantastic player regardless. What would most fans give to have both Howlett and De Villiers playing in their teams backs division? Saying that i would have liked to see him sign for Leinster and pair up with BOD, what a partnership that would be!

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Anonymous July 22, 2009 3:19 pm

I'd drop dowling, you have to be brutally honest to be the best and dowling is not world class and in my view never will be. He's a good club player but Earls will start on the wing with warwick at fullback and howlett on the other wing, JDV and Mafi in the centre. The good thing about JDV is the experience he'll bring to the Munster backline O Gara needs him but Earls will also learn from him.

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Anonymous July 22, 2009 3:38 pm

Lewsey chewed him up when he was greedy with an intercept against England when Charlie 'the choker' Hodgson, gift wrapped a try for him.
Any talents other than being a scab?
Did he play in the tests against the lions? don't think i noticed him much if he did

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Anonymous July 22, 2009 3:47 pm

Lewsey was awesome!! It's a shame though. England are shit now. They're not going to win any games in the autumn.

On De Villiers, great player....def not the greatest. He'll learn alot from BOD.

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padraig July 22, 2009 3:48 pm

Brian o driscoll best center in the world...nuf sed..!! excellent siging for munster

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Mpc-33 July 22, 2009 3:54 pm

I have a lot of respect for De Villiers achievements, excellent interceptor. As a French guy, i think he's a mile ahead of Jauzion (Honnestly, i don't understand how the people though he was the world best center : slow & only hard-noised approach of the game...).

However, i have to say one thing (And before all, sorry for munter's & De Villiers fans) :

Another mercenarie in NH clubs.

And I would have said the same if he had moved for a French club, even louder.

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Alain July 22, 2009 4:25 pm

they must play him 12.not 13 or wing..only 12..that was not a good vid of him.u munster fans will see soon enough how good he really is :)
peace

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Anonymous July 22, 2009 5:56 pm

The outrageous claim at the end is seriously erroneous and the content of the video doesn't display any of the qualities befitting of the best centre in the world

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Darren July 22, 2009 6:43 pm

Rocky Elsom wasn't nearly the best 6 in the world before he came to Leinster, but he left as, quote, the greatest player that BOD ever played with, why? Because too many people that don't watch Super 14 make those pre-judgements.

JDV has it all, size, pace, excellent hands and experience playing against the best there is and standing out. He's a massive signing and will do wonders for Munster should he stay fit. I wouldn't worry about who plays where, we've solid depth everywhere now bar front row. We should take Cronin back from Connaught.

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Anonymous July 22, 2009 8:02 pm

If he and Henson were at their best i would choose Henson without hesitation...

I'll probably get a lot of abuse for saying that.

HUGHT.

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Pete July 22, 2009 8:13 pm

Anonymous:

"Did he play in the tests against the lions? don't think i noticed him much if he did"

Yes, he certainly did, and he did well in the 2nd test to shut down the Roberts-O'Driscoll connection that had such an effect the first match.

He didn't score any tries, but then again, neither did BOD or Jamie Roberts.

I'm a Lions fan and you make us all look like idiots when you say things like that...like a Kiwi commentator who doesn't know the names of the players on the opposition squad.

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Kearney for tests July 22, 2009 8:16 pm

Anonymous, Gavin Henson is a slow, shit player. If we're talking about world-class players he should only be mentioned to show the opposite of what we're talking about.

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josh July 22, 2009 9:28 pm

Tana Umaga is the greatest centre ever.. JDV doesnt have a patch on him..
waiting for the spear tackle to raining in.

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mise July 22, 2009 10:04 pm

Dowling indeed may begin to feel the heat from earls.

Its no harm to have proper competition in the backs cf Leinster and Munster last year!

They (Munster) certainly need someone to try to do what Tipoki did for them: he was massive.

Howlet may feel the heat too: O Gara Mafi and Warwick less so.

(there are plenty of better centres than JDV, but as RD didn't make the claim...)

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Ally July 22, 2009 10:24 pm

He really should have played for Australia the number of try scoring passes they give him!

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Darren July 22, 2009 11:03 pm

Most people hadn't heard of Tipoki before he came to Munster, in fact when we signed him all that was heard was groans and moans that we didn't sign McCallister or Mauger. I vouched for Rua, coz I knew what I was talking about, I had seen his playmaking, step, tenacity in defence and leadership qualities many a time for the Maori and Blues.

JDV brings something different. He's a more direct player, a typical hard running SA center that picks lovely lines. He will suck in 2 defenders every time. His offload in the tackle is very effective due to his height, Mafi and Howlett will be spoon fed killer offloads. He will probably be the fastest player in our backline, yes including Howlett, and our biggest back. I can't say enough about this player. The only thing that may prove me wrong is his fitness, but when a player comes to Munster and sees what it means to play in a packed Thomond for HC rugby, he'll be chomping at the bit to get on the field. He may not live up to the legend of Tipoki, but I can all but guarantee he'll be as effective as big Trevor Halstead.

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Anonymous July 22, 2009 11:08 pm

not the best centre in the world but signing of the summer so far just annoyed that mafi and earls wont play centres together now, earls waas the one stepping in line for BOD when he retired

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jamestheconvict July 22, 2009 11:34 pm

How come everyone keeps saying Nonu is better ??

Surely these claims are not serious

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 12:00 am

He's certainly a better player than Mafi.
He's high quality. Not the msot dynamic player, but tough, reliable, fast, defensivley imposing and runs very hard.
Typical SA international centre really.

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Cheis July 23, 2009 12:00 am

the best at inside centre!

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Kearney for tests July 23, 2009 12:47 am

Does anyone else think that this signing seems to be a bit pointless? Mafi and Earls were becoming devastating in the centre, and Earls is tipped to be Ireland's next outside centre, so why go with De Villiers? If they were going to make a signing then they should have gotten a new loosehead.

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 3:34 am

Hardly pointless. Just means more depth for the midfield, doesn't it? I mean, what if one of them gets injured or Earls doesn't mature the way he needs to?

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jamestheconvict July 23, 2009 4:21 am

Rau Tipoki was a b grade S14 player before he "dominated" with Munster

JDV is getting a bit long in the ooth but is a far superior player than Rau Tipoki

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 6:14 am

they should have spent the cash on a fly half...;)

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b3astman July 23, 2009 7:22 am

This week Nonu said that JDV is the best 12 in the world. He said it because it's true. Jaque Fourie is on of SA's top try scores and that is because he plays outside JDV. Watch the vid and you will see some of the great tries that have been created for him. I'm a big BOD fan but I would have to say there is not much seperating these two centres. I would love to see them play together in a barbarians team.

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 8:24 am

Yeah he's a good centre but def not the worlds best... I agree - Nonu's better as is BOD and what about about Flutey or Tindall... Okay, I am taking the p!ss with Tindall but JDV is def not the best in the world.. Oh and as for the interceptions, he's offside half the time.. Take 1.07 in this clip, for example...

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 8:25 am

remember that beaut intercept pass that de villiers threw to kevin mealamu? now that was a great intercept

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Kenny July 23, 2009 8:38 am

I agree with jamestheconvict on this one
Nonu is rubbish, totally one dimensional = collect a pass and run into contact with no idea of how to offload and no idea or intention of trying to step = shit centre.

BOD is getting a bit old but still has some class left in him for another 2 years maybe.


JDV looks classy nothing special, dunno where he will fit in at Munster.

I thought they needed an out-half more than anything cause O Gara is getting old and shit, so a bit of a strange signing.

Tipoki and JDV are totally diff players and in my view would have made a great partnership.....ah well

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 8:52 am

could have been a great partnership except would JDV play with Tipoki after he floored him a few years back (remember the old rugbydump banner!)

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Jon July 23, 2009 9:17 am

Flutey? He's average. Couldn't even crack the starting spot for his S14 side, let alone the all blacks. Had to go to England to find a country where the backlines are crap enough to get a national team spot.
BOD and Mortlock are up there as the best, but they're both getting past it.
Nonu's one dimensional, definatley, but sometimes it doesn't matter. He's huge and fast with solid skills. Very, very hard to stop, almost always gets over the gain line. To say he's crap is ridiculous.
De Villiars is a very good player. Not the best but very good. Any club or provincial side would be happy to have him.

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RhysJack July 23, 2009 9:46 am

To the guy who said that he was offside at 1:07. Read the rules. There was no breakdown of play after that line break so there was no offside line where he was. It was perfectly onside. That is why it was not called.

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 10:03 am

pfffttttt

worlds greatest centre? .. lol tana umaga was and will always be the worlds greatest centre..

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Chris July 23, 2009 10:21 am

Class player,
Please please rugbydump get the clip of jean de villiers try against the brumbies in this years s14,the man literaly dummies and steps his way through the whole team. And those people who think NONU is up there as the best centre in the world?haha he is an average s14 player lets be honest. come this saterday watch fourie and de villiers run around that carthorse

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 11:51 am

Both Nonu and De Villiers are world class.

Nonu is physically stronger and even more direct, but not as good at slipping in a cheeky offload or making intercepts.

Nonu is a better try scorer (top try scorer in Super 14 with 9) but de Villiers isn't too shabby in this department either


=both class players, but neither as good as BOD.


And Dowling will be dropped for Munster next season, with Earls moving to the wing and Mafi going to 13, De Villiers 12.

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Third Centre July 23, 2009 12:05 pm

Good signing for Munster. JDV can be of great benefit to somebody like Earls in the same way Van Der Linde and La Roux were great role models for Cian Healy at Leinster. Having said that, I think Earls is more of a winger or FB than centre to be honest.

relying on homegrown talent isn't really possible and it's like the Munster team is full of imports like some French or English clubs so I wouldn't worry about it too much. And anyway Munster has a good recent tradition of bringing foreign players into the fold very successfully: Williams, Halstead, Pucciarelo(?), Cullen, Payne and the more recent kiwi signings

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Third Centre July 23, 2009 12:10 pm

Sorry that should say "it's NOT like...."


whoops

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 1:08 pm

JDV is an exciting player but I don't think pairing him up with BOD would work. Simply, for any balanced mid field, you need a line breaker and a tactical kicker/ cunning player. For Leinster and Ireland, Darcy takes up the role of the former, (for Lions, Jamie Roberts) so BOD work his tricks.
JDV while a good player, is not someone who takes route number 1 and bash holes in defence.

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Hennie July 23, 2009 1:42 pm

JDV is definitely not the greatest centre at the moment but he is very good. I find it amusing that some guys compare him to BOD as one is an inside centre an the other outside, these positions are essentially very different.

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 1:53 pm

munster will turn into saracens soon with the amount of foreign players they have

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Abbyno7 July 23, 2009 2:35 pm

Firstly Earls can play 15 which might well be his best position. JDV can also play wing so there is that option.
JDV with BOD would work. He's a big guy and he's strong. He might not have the sheer bulk of say Roberts but he can run good lines and with his passing and offloading ability BOD would be able to run good lines off him.
In my opinion he is easily one of the best 12 in the game. I rate him higher than Nonu or Jauzion.

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Paul Gormley July 23, 2009 3:16 pm

re:anon
"munster will turn into saracens soon with the amount of foreign players they have"
1.marcus horan
2.jerry flannery
3.john hayes
4.donnacha o callaghan
5.paul o connell
6.alan quinlan
7.david wallace
8.denis leamy
9.tomas o leary
10. ronan o gara
13.keith earls.

you are right they are definately turning into saracens alright.
oh wait 11. dowling (irish can be considered a munster man) so if you think because we have mafi, howlett, warwick (who is as irish at this stage as australian) and now jdv we are now the new saracens you are deluded.

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Gramerox July 23, 2009 3:23 pm

I made this video and in the description i put JDV was my favourite player. So obviously im a bit biased, never the less he was the best centre in the world last year, there is no doubt, this year hes had plenty of injuries ands came into the Lions tests with 1 back from injury and recieved the ball only 4 or 5 times in 2 tests. Nobody can do much with that, Nonu isnt fit to like De Villiers boots, the best centres imo are JDV,BOD,McAlistar and Mortlock.

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 3:26 pm

There is a myth that the Munster team is built around a foreign contingent...couldn't be further from the truth. With tipoki out injured, mafi, howlett and warwick were the only foreigners in the 1st choice starting line-up last year. The remainder of the team were Irish(mostly home grown Munster lads)

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 3:47 pm

Roberts kinda owned him throughout the lions series.. Hopefully they match up in the Heiniken cup and we can see who the best centre in the world is :D

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FALCONS July 23, 2009 5:02 pm

i have no dobt a great player BUT hes going up the northern hemisphere thinking hes the best when BOD and roberts owned him in the lions series he is going to come up against roberts and bod and i have no doubt hes going to be a great signing but is going to have a tuff tuff time against the lions players.
i would say that he has got a great eye for the interception but the vidio does show some of the interceptions as idiots that have basicly placed it in his hand but he is a craking signing well done munster!!!!!!

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 5:10 pm

i do strongly agree with paul gormley although it is great that these world class players come to your club but if you look in the long run no home grown talent will come through and thats whats killing the northern hemisphere england france and ireland in 5 years the world is going to be dominated by australia new zealand and SA put a limit on how many over seas players you can have in a starting 15!!

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 5:11 pm

if anybody has watched rugby then they should know that making claims to be the worlds greatest in any position is seriously flawed. will greenwood, tana umaga, brian o'driscoll to name a few would easily compare to JDV, hes good but not that good.

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JuiCe July 23, 2009 5:50 pm

You peolpe seem to forget something here JVD hasn't made any claim's he is the best so where you get that from and saying he is going to have a tuff tuff time is so stupid wtf? The persone who made the video made that claim dont attack JVD because of a claim a fan made what morons are you?

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Anonymous July 24, 2009 8:00 am

JDV is made to look good by a good bokkie side. He is far from an all rounded player.
Brian O Driscoll and Tana Umaga are the current and previous best centres in the world!

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Richo July 24, 2009 8:31 am

haha possibly one of the worst tribute videos on this site. two of the "intercepts" he was standing behind the player and it fell into his hands. It may be a skill, but its kind of like drop goals. You could do it, or you could man up and score proper tries. JDV, another overrated center moving up to the NH where he belongs with all the other overrated centers.

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Andy July 24, 2009 8:47 am

Richo, that last bit was a bit harsh.

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Anonymous July 24, 2009 9:36 am

I'm getting tired of hearing how good BOD is. He plays on a lower level of rugby than Jean plays.

Oh sure, he looks good against a quota like Jacobs, but that's about it.

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Anonymous July 24, 2009 9:43 am

Whats with all these NH fans thinking they're top dog? How rare is it when one of your "teams" actually front and beat the SH teams? Once a year if lucky? You guys think you're tough and hard men, you aren't. Tell me, where did Wales and Ireland come in the rwc? and who did they lose to? a little island? Yeah. And Ireland lost to Georgia, so... GROUP STAGE EXIT FOR YOU.

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dr July 24, 2009 10:35 am

I think this is a great signing for Munster. unfortunately for me as a Glasgow supporter as we cant affort big signings, its just gonna make the gap even greater between teams. I blummin know half the glasgow team cos they came from club local teams lol.
Iv always liked JVD tho and look forwards to watching him. As for as the Nonu debate goes, it seems he is always striving to live up to this potential that people have set for him, and when he makes a mistake, people let him off or when he does something great, they forget his errors. Its odd. Good player tho. Just not as good as the kiwi think, yet nothing is lol

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Anonymous July 24, 2009 3:20 pm

I really think NH rugby is better than SH, club wise anyway. The heinekin cup is what loads of rugby players dream to play in and is the biggest competition in rugby other than the rwc. You don't see loads of NH players playing in SH clubs.. But I see alot of SH in the NH rugby teams, but yeah I suppose they just want to play with the bad NH teams eh. Also the 2007 rwc.. You said Wales and Ireland got put out by tiny islands, NZ most likely the best team in the world got put out by a NH team, France. Australia a huge rugby nation too got put out in the by england yet another NH team. Yeah they lost the final but I think they are big tough guys like you said. Look at the lions.. They owned the Boks pack in every match other than the 1st half of the first game.

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Lennox July 24, 2009 8:15 pm

Seriously?
Do you believe that?
So why have lost 78 out of 93 games since 2003?
Better?
Wow, better and losing all the time, imagine how much you'll win when SH rugby is even worse.
You might even win half the time.
Or maybe you'll stop living in fantasy land.

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Anonymous July 24, 2009 11:35 pm

the statement saying he is the greatest centre in the world makes me cringe everytime i see it...

i am 18 and and 10 plus years ago i wud go watch brian o driscoll play for blackrock rfc...i have watched him his whole rugby career and ive never seen a better player..there isnt a player in the world i dont regard higher...other great centers include, roberts-still only young, mortlock, nonu-although hes very one dimensinal

but if i had to pick a player out of any team or country, it wud always b o driscoll, i look forward to the local derby between munster and leinster again, hopefully anuder croke park again

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JuiCe July 24, 2009 11:42 pm

Anon above you are a idiot m8 the SH team go north because of money not better rugby, use your brain m8 and the S14 is a better competition because it has better players but i dont wana get into that SH NH shit tbh rugby is a great sport played everywhere so KODOS for rugby i say.

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Anonymous July 24, 2009 11:52 pm

Brian o'Driscoll is an overrated Irishman. It's mostly the IRISH that are always pumping him up as the best center, mostly because that's the only somewhat decent player they have. And how did the Springboks pack get dominated? Most turnovers? Brussouw. Most Lineout steals? Victor Matfield. And How many tightheads did you get? more than 10? Yes.

When I watch NH club rugby I laugh, when on attack they nearly always lose ground, no wonder they want to kick it away and defend.

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Ireland for WCD2011! July 25, 2009 12:36 pm

munster are gonna have to play him at 13,cos mafi is an out-and-out 12,whereas de villiers could adapt

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Irealand for WC 2011 July 25, 2009 12:37 pm

sorry,username should be spelt as above

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Huh!! the 3rd July 25, 2009 6:45 pm

Firstly, Ireland didn't lose to Georgia, you gonna throw facts around may as well get them right. I had erased that game from my memory bank, but it was 14-10 to Ireland, ahhhhhhh!!!!!

Secondly, if JDV was anonymous against Lions, whose incredible defence denied Monye that certain try in first test? Roberts and O'Driscoll were nullified in 2nd test from JDV and Burgers tackling.

Thirdly, Munster coach Tony Maghan says Earls best position is 15, until Tipoki's injuries took hold, thats where Earls looked likely to play. One suggests that Mafi is an out an out 12, but thats not true, he has played 13 couple times last season, ironically, with Earls at 12. Warrick will drop to bench. Felix Jones is also a great signing, possibly fit in on wings if injuries or rested players occur.

Jamestheconvict, always delighted to hear his thoughts, weighs in with some pretty good observations, yes Mafi barely played S14, but he was at the Hurricanes who have great depth at 12,13. Also, when he first played for Munster, he continually made cronically poor errors, but only grew with Tipoki's arrival and was unquestionably the best centre in HCup last season.

Lastly, I'm sure as Tipoki is held so highly in regard here, I think JDV is gonna get alot of stick from the boys over the broken jaw.

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Paul Gormley July 26, 2009 3:14 pm

while i agree with the majority of Huh!! the 3rd said, his third point about dumper saying earls best position is 15 is complete rubbish. having seen keith play for young munster,munchins,irish schools,ireland A and munster at centre plus the fact he says it whenever he is asked that his preferred position is 13. keith had NEVER played fullback before last season and what dumper actually said was that he was suprised to see how well keith had adapted to playing 15.
also, paul warrick along with mafi was THE outstanding back munster had last season, not a household name by any means but has become a hugely popular player in munster, and he will NOT be on the bench next season.

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Paul Gormley July 26, 2009 3:16 pm

sorry left out a bit, earls said his best position is 13

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karl July 27, 2009 12:29 pm

Good old Munster, doing their bit to develop Irish rugby!

Best centre in the world - you must be having a laugh. He's not even the best centre in South Africa and as for the world, there is only one B.O.D.

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Stephen Jones wisely July 27, 2009 11:23 pm

By far, the best centres in the world are Brian O'Driscoll,Daniel Hipkiss and Stirling Mortlock. Lots to see for the future though, with Berrick Barnes, Jamie Roberts, Keith Earls, Richard Kahui, James Hook, Matthew Tait, etc... Anyway, great signing for Munster, will form a great partnership with Mafi at centre or will have to learn to play winger.

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Bill July 28, 2009 10:33 am

Digby Ioane will be awesome if he stays fit. O'Conner is gonna be a great inside centre/fly-half too.
There'll be good ones too from SA and NZ who we don't know much about yet, these two countries always produce the best players.

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Dan The Man July 28, 2009 7:13 pm

Hey u northern hemisphere shmucks can all go play...JDV is far better than BOD...and what are u talking about Nonu...i'll say NONO to that...u northern hemispere teams cant even play rugby...our Super 14 is 10 times tougher and our Tri-nations is 10 times better than any tournament u guys can put together...playing a team from the Northern Hemisphere is like playing Japan or The Seychelles(if they even have a team..haha)...
look at what we did to the Lions...

And im very sure that's the reason why England got to host the 2015 World Cup because that'll be the only time that the Webb Ellis trophy will be in their country(or even in that part of the world) for a very very very long time guys...
hehehe..our blood is green!!!

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Paul Gormley July 29, 2009 12:56 am

i hate people like dan the man who walk around like they and they alone know everything to do with rugby and there opinion is THE opinion.

so iv decided to scald you in as many ways i can think of on the spot. your first point "JDV is far better than BOD" how many times has jdv been nominated for world player of the year?, who OWNED jdv in the first two lions matches? as in apart from one try saving tackle i didnt know jdv was on the park.

your second point of "our Super 14 is 10 times tougher" in the case of munster two players who you agree are nothing short of legends- christian cullen and doug howlett have both said that the heineken cup standard is the best club standard theve ever been involved in, rocky elsom told the irish press that he couldnt turn his back on the lure of playing for his country but he will miss the chance of testing himself in the heineken. jim williams the australain assistant coach (previous munster assistant) has said numerous times since hes been back in australia that munster could beat the sharks.

"look at what we did to the Lions..."

oh my what an achievment a south african team who have been together for years against a scratch lions team together for a mere 6 weeks! and in fact in the first test if we had started better, or indeed had 5 more minutes we would have won that match. second test which has been regarded as the most physical game of all time was won by a moment of rashness on o garas part. and in third test our second team destroyed yer second team, all ye are is cheats. so how u can derive the standard is so much better in south africa is beyond me. i believe the physicality is stronger in the south and the lions found it hard to adjust to yer referees interpretation of the laws, much like ye struggled in the second test. id also like to point out that in the north apart from wales rugby isnt our national game, in fact in ireland its our 4th most popular sport and il let u check our population, as you can imagine not alot of people play the sport where i gather in south africa rugby seems to be popular! and how many people live in south africa?? haha

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Jake K July 29, 2009 5:27 am

When did Earls play for Young Munster?

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Dan The Man July 29, 2009 9:59 am

im sorry RD but i just have to reply to this guy...

the only reason why Irish people think that BOD is great is because the rest of the team is so bad!
Oh and he never owned anyone on the Lions tour.
But when he played against the Springboks it was like...like holding a candle while the sun is shining, if u kno what i mean...

to be honest i'm glad(and im sure he's glad) they sent him home earlier to save himself the embarrassment...

All i see in ur comments is a bunch of if's and couldve's and wouldve's...well here in the South Africa we have a saying that says "LOSER"S MAKES EXCUSES!!!"....

NH tournaments is embarrassing to the sport because i've seen better schoolboy rugby being played in the SH.

And pls just add up the number of times the SH won the RWC and its pretty plain to see...but then again im sure u have a couple of couldve's and wouldve's for that up ur sleeve aswell hey...:-)

Oh and the reason why Cullen, Howlett and Elsom said what they said is because they are nice guys and wouldnt want to embarrass their employers and because we are such nice people in the SH (...:-))...

...last but not least...
"rugby isnt our national game"

...u couldve fooled me!!!
go put on some pads and play American Football or something and pls leave the Rugby to be played by men!!!

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Dan The Man July 29, 2009 12:52 pm

oh and Paul our population is estimated at 49.1million ...when ur teams play against the Springboks again, and when you see the blood and the sweat on our brows, and when u are privileged enought to witness the nation that has come from Apartheid, from trouble between Blacks and Whites, u will realise that the only colours that matters to us today is our beautiful Green and Gold...!

remember that ur playing against a proud nation!!!
we are not just playing a game Paul, we are building a nation!!!

Much love from South Africa.

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Paul Gormley July 29, 2009 3:28 pm

wouldnt you know dan the mans response would be full of patriotic assertion with no solid foundation facts behind it. hence your argument is weak.

you are the only bok i know who wasnt worried about the centre partnership of the lions. fact of the matter is i watched all the build up matches and test matches on the internet under south african broadcast as i cant stand stuart barnes. the way the south african commentators went on about o driscoll whenever he touched the ball was unbelievable. and he wasnt sent home of his own accord, he had to be taken off after putting his body on the line (unlike south africa try count finished 7-5 lions) concussing himself in the first half, continued playing until he knocked a flanker out in the second half. now i expect another patrioic remark in this regard but simple matter of fact is that he knocked out the brave south african who is 4 stone heavier than him.

i wasnt making excuses far from it, im a munster fan who are used to winning the tight matches, its a skill, but all i was saying is surely you cannot deny it was a very close series its not like ye ran away with it. otherwise you are deluded.

excellent im glad u know your population, we have 4.4 million with 20% playing the game of rugby, consider the fact that we only have 4 professional clubs with a very small pool of players its amazing we can compete with europe never mind be 4th in the world rankings.

and as a small nation i wouldnt expect you to know the irish history but we are not too differnet, we too had to fight the british for our independence for over 100 years, we are STILL segregated from 6 counties that british stole from us. the violence between north and south finished same time scale as yer troubles finished. now b4 ye go on another rant about much more ye suffered than us, dont i realise that im not an idiot! but ye have 10 times our population so by and large if the suffering was 10 times worse its pretty much same scale. i cant believe iv bin goaded into our history from this patriotic fool but dan you should really learn to base an argument on fact and take out the patriotic elements, yes your blood is green and all that shite but like its a rugby site and this thread is about jean de villiers, and he isnt on the same breath as bod, and it is very hard for a munster man to admit that. yes bod is the captain of our country and a fine rugby player, but he is a leinster man through and through and i only praise him as i cannot deny he is such a talent. oh and one final nail in the coffin, brace for it!
"remember that ur playing against a proud nation!!!
we are not just playing a game Paul, we are building a nation!!!"

jeez are you talking about the nation who filled every seat in every stadium for the lions tour?? haha
much love returned from limerick
game set and match!

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Dan The Man July 29, 2009 6:11 pm

ag cmon paul what's with the try count thing, does that even make sense...how do u score the most tries and still end up losing the series...its almost like liverpool losing only 2matches in the entire season and they still dont win the league!...just doesnt add up hey...

and i like ur stats with the population thing cos india got more than a billion people and u dont see an indian rugby team anywhere hey...so stop crying that u have a small population or whatever it is ur crying about...:-)

ohk the series against the lions, we didnt play the brand of rugby that we always play...(a bit rusty i would say...or is that an excuse..:-0)

the second test i must say was awesome..ur team played like REAL LIONS!..i was impressed and many others like me (that dont really care much of NH teams)...

about ur countries history...
i know a bit and i know thats where the passion comes from...but like u say its a rugby site so lets not talk about that(but isnt it on the home page with SA vs NZ?...anyway)...

isnt there any space for the frenchies and the italians in the Lion's side cos 4 teams is clearly not enough against SH opposition :-)....

ok ok ...bod is not too bad, er,uhm,...ok bod is quite good!Happy now.
Give him a darker green test shirt and i'm sure he could be the best centre in the world...:-)

by the way im sure there was some O'Driscoll's living in SA up until the 1950's ....lol

alas a man with some odd sized balls...
im just glad ur not english!!!...hehehehehe

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Paul Gormley July 29, 2009 7:23 pm

regarding dan the man, iv enjoyed the debate! haha, oh stop il admit the try count is something you would see an english person rant about (they scored the most tries in the 6 nations last season and came 4th but i dunno it makes them feel better about themselves) but i was just throwing it in there. your point about bod playing for south africa spirs some more memoirs! didnt jake white once famously say that bod wud be the only starter for ireland that would be on the south african team?

anyways i wanted to know as a springbok what the general opinion of paul o connell is as a captain and a player?

id also like to say i think south africa have got in spot on with the emerging springboks concept, what a fantastic way of honing future talent and i genuinely believe south africa will dominate the world of rugby much like new zealand did for last few years, i think south africa are that good

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Paul Gormley July 29, 2009 7:31 pm

i wasnt crying about the fact wer a small nation either i was just stating that ye have 10 times our population and about 25 times our playing pool! and rugby isnt played in india so that throws out that argument:-) haha

and while id love the french to be involved in the lions i doubt that would happen for two reasons the language barrier, and b) the fact that its bin the same four nations for years, they dont want to break that tradition, it just so happens that for the lions they seem to be touring the wrong teams! in 01 we played the world champions, in 05 we played against the best team iv ever seen, and this year against the world champions at their peak.. i truly believe that if we had toured new zealand or australia this year we wuf have won the test series hands down. but it was an incredible team we came up against, an incredibly physically pack, with two flyers on the wing, a fullback who can kick for miles, a handy centre partnering and two very good halfbacks.

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Dan The Man July 29, 2009 9:13 pm

lol yip the english they quite a strange people hey...and to be honest us South Africans we quite mad about BOD :-)...but then again almost everybody is...now about POC i personally think that he's a very good player and an exceptional captain...i saw an ad with him giving a talk in the dressing room to the Irish team during half time(think it was against wales or france) and u can hear the passion that he has for the game and im sure thats why the Lions played like they played...the second test will have to go down as one the ultimate test matches ever(cant stress that too much)...im sure any franchise would love to have a captain like him nad every player would love to follow a captian like him!...

yes the emerging springboks is a great idea and it gives the guys that chance to put their hand up against some real opposition!...
i had a good chuckle when one of ur journalist said that the Lions made them look like the Submerging Springboks...lol..that was low hey

we should be a powerhouse for the next couple of years(hopefully a decade..:-)) and i guess the keyword would be "structures" hey...its almost like australian cricket :-)

anyway Paul i've thorougly enjoyed the debate and i'm definitely rooting for the Irish in the Six Nations!!!

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Bill July 30, 2009 9:34 am

O'Connel is a very passionate player, and that's to his credit. He plays his heart out and you can see that on the field.
But, IMO, he's overrated. A solid defender, but doesn't put on the hits that guys like Botha and Thorn dish out.
He loves to run the ball, but he rarely makes much ground, rarely busts a tackle and doesn't offload much.
He's very good in the line-outs, but there are better players (Matfield and Williams spring to mind).
So he's a work horse, who shows immense heart. He'll never let a side down, but he's definitely not the best second rower in the world, as many said before the Lions tour.
A player almost any team would have though, very good second rower.

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pip September 13, 2009 1:36 am

Chalk up another one for de Villiers after the game 8 of this year's 3N. Sealed the trophy for the Boks...I guess when you're up by 10 - you can afford to not cover the backs on your outside and go in for an intercept...great stuff.

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Anonymous September 30, 2009 9:06 pm

Rugby = the only thing that unites Northern and Southern Ireland.

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