Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Saru: No problems in the camp

Peter de Villiers

South African rugby has played downs reports of a rift in the team after the embattled Springboks suffered a third loss in succession over the weekend.

Peter de Villiers' side were comfortably beaten 30-13 by Australia and are now bottom of the Tri Nations log without even a bonus point to show for their efforts. The defeat for the defending champions in Brisbane followed back-to-back losses to New Zealand on the opening two weekends of competition.

"I've been with the Springboks for almost three weeks now and can categorically state there is no rift in the management team," Andy Marinos, the national teams manager said.

"In my various discussions with Bok coach Peter de Villiers, his assistant coaches Dick Muir and Gary Gold, as well as senior team members John Smit and Victor Matfield, it's never once come up that there are problems in the camp.

"For three weeks in a row we have not played well and made it harder for ourselves by playing with only 14 players on the field at crucial time during the games, away from home."

De Villiers will also meet his employers later this week for a report back on the tour.

SARU are reportedly satisfied with the some part of the team, but are becoming increasing irritated by unnecessary remarks being made by the coach to the media.

Last week they had to send out a statement in an attempt to defuse comments by the coach where he suggested referees had favoured the All Blacks in the first two matches for the benefit of next year's World Cup.

De Villiers said he was misquoted, but the issue and a few others are now set to be spoken about face-to-face.

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