De Villiers challenges Kenya to put in place rugby development structures
Springbok legend Jean de Villiers has challenged upcoming rugby stars to keep their feet on the ground, adding that there is no substitute to hard work.
De Villiers, a former Springbok captain, is one of the most decorated South African rugby players having won the World Cup in 2007.
“It’s only through hard work and good planning that one can achieve his or her dreams and most importantly is being disciplined,” Villiers told Citizen Digital in an interview. “It’s been fantastic time for me given the fact that it’s my first visit to Kenya but people have been so friendly and I love it here”.
“I believe the base is right and people love rugby around here. It’s just about bringing on board the structures for sustainable success,” he said of Kenya’s rugby.
“One can be able to see the enthusiasm in the youngsters and I hope the management can prioritize the preference of 7’s rugby to 15’s rugby. I also hope the team can perform better than the 7’s team”.
De Villiers, whose country is poised to host the 2023 rugby World Cup also, noted the importance of hosting continental showpiece in Africa.
“I hope that Kenya can qualify for the 2019 world Cup and in future maybe they can play in 2023 World Cup in which my country might host”.
“I am a big fan of Collins Injera and William Ambaka who can play in any team in this world and to have players of such stature in Africa and more so not from a traditional rugby playing country is a positive path for Kenya”.
Collins is celebrated worldwide after his fantastic fete and it’s something Kenya and Africans can celebrate”.
“But to able to maintain such players and have many of them in our teams does not come overnight, the management needs to do more in terms of grassroots level and a strong development structure up to the professional level”.
De Villiers who was in the country as a chief guest of Nondescripts RFC during their inaugural; dinner on Friday, retired from the game in September 2015 following a jaw fracture he sustained at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Besides, the national caps, he also turned out for Western Province in the Currie Cup, the Stormers in Super Rugby, Leicester Tigers in Premiership Rugby and internationally for South Africa, for whom he was named the captain in June 2012.
He played 109 tests, 37 of which he was a captain, scored 27 tries for South Africa and 58 for Stormers and Western Province.
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