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Springboks coach gets SARU backing

Peter de Villiers has been given a vote of confidence by his employers at the South African Rugby Union and assured that his job is safe.

De Villiers is due to meet with senior SARU officials in the next 48 hours to discuss a disappointing tour to New Zealand and Australia, in which they suffered three consecutive defeats in the Tri Nations, but ahead of the talks he has been given full backing.

"There is a lot of wrong that needs to be made right after the bad start to the Tri Nations," SARU president Oregan Hoskins told Business Day. "But that doesn't mean that we don't support the coach."

He added: "We are meeting the coach to hear what went wrong and what needs to be done going forward.

"But again, he has our full backing."

Meanwhile, the world champions have been hit by a further injury setback after news that lock Andries Bekker is likely to miss the remainder of the season.

The Stormers forward is to undergo surgery after a recurrence of a back problem, which will keep him out for up to four months.

Bekker joins scrum-half Fourie du Preez and flanker Heinrich Brussow on the sidelines. The pair are also out until the new year after operations of their own.

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