South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has ruled out captain Jean de Villiers moving to number 13 in the Rugby Championship and beyond.
South Africa head coach Heyneke Meyer has ruled out captain Jean de Villiers moving to number 13 in the Rugby Championship and beyond.
De Villiers, who has played there before on the Test scene, was believed to be an option as the Boks have no recognised 13 in their squad.
However, coach Meyer has poured cold water on that possibility and instead suggested that Damian de Allende might be the man for the job.
“We looked at him at 13, he told supersport.com regarding the experience centre De Villiers.
“I still believe though that his best position is 12. Jan (Serfontein) has been superb at 12 in the Incoming Tours, and it is a pity he hasn't played 13. Damian hasn't played 13 either – although he did play there at schools level. With JP and Jaque Fourie out, we are really under pressure at 13. We have to find the right combination.
“I have always thought that Damian can be a brilliant player, we simply need to find the right position for him. The one thing I like about Jean at 12 is his leadership. At one stage we played Frans Steyn at 12 and Jean at 13 and we didn't score a lot of tries.
“While there were other factors as well, I still believe when your captain is at 12 he organises most of the play. He was probably the best 12 in the world last year I believe and although he can crash the ball up, he also has unbelievable hands to get the ball away.
“I believe the days have gone by when we believe we all are going to crash up the ball and outpower guys. Everyone has good backs and they're all skilful.”