JDV to make last chance count

Date published: September 12 2015

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Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has vowed to put sentiment aside and focus on getting the job done at the Rugby World Cup.

This will be 34-year-old De Villiers' third and last World Cup along with Victor Matfield (38), Fourie du Preez (33) while fellow veterans Schalk Burger (32), Morné Steyn (31), Ruan Pienaar (31) and Bryan Habana (32) are also likely to be playing at their last global showpiece. 

The Bok skipper has been desperately unlucky in the past with injuries prematurely ending both his previous World Cup experiences.

But he insists that, despite his miraculous recovery from his latest battle with a serious injury, he remains focussed on the task at hand.

"This campaign is not about lasts or firsts, it’s about going there and doing a job." said De Villiers at the Springboks' farewell event in Johannesburg. 

"We want to put up good performances and firstly get a win against Japan.

"This is not a farewell for one oke or another; it’s a World Cup where we’re all fighting the same fight, working towards one goal, whether a guy is 20 years old or 38. It’s about getting the job done and doing what you have to do on the field.

"To know it’s my last opportunity makes it more special. I’ve been playing for the Boks for a long time…but moments like this make it special. We don’t just play for a 'W' every Saturday, we play for so much more.

"That’s what gives us the edge. We are South African, we are different, we have our challenges, but these things give us an opportunity to again pull together and create something special.

"The vibe in the squad is fantastic. Yes, the last few weeks have been tough from a supporters’ point of view, mainly because there’s been a lot of negative energy, but that’s a small minority that create it.

"When we meet supporters in the streets and when you see the vibe like it’s been this last week you realise just how special it is to play for the Boks. 

"It feels as if the whole of South Africa is behind us."

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