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Hoskins calls for calm

South African rugby chief Oregan Hoskins has asked for calm amid growing calls for the sacking of coach Peter de Villiers in the wake of a woeful international season thus far.

The Springboks have lost five out of 10 Tests, all in the Tri Nations where they also turned in their worst display in the competition's 15-year history. It has prompted calls for De Villiers to be replaced in the build up to next year's World Cup defence, but Hoskins, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) president, thinks otherwise.

Answering questions posed by fans in a weekly newsletter, Hoskins said: "Four years ago many people thought the answer was to sack Jake White and we resisted those calls. Four years on and we have to review all our options once more."

He added: "A few years ago SA rugby was lambasted for changing coaches too frequently and throwing players away.

"Now we have consistency we have to guard against it becoming a tyrant in our selections."

His comments come 10 days before he will come face-to-face with the national coach in a routine mid-season review.

Apart from the poor run of performances, the Springbok boss also faces a grilling over recent comments in the media where he said his team was "100%" behind Bees Roux - the Bulls rugby player arrested and charged with the alleged killing of Pretoria policeman Ntshimane Mogale.

Hoskins denied De Villiers was being treated differently from previous coaches when dealing with his off-field behaviour.

He continued: "This is a subject we have raised with the coach and both he and I have written to the family of Mr Mogale to express our personal condolences. However, a perception was created and we have addressed this issue with the coach and are discussing remedies with him.

"There is consistency (with treatment of De Villiers). The coach was reviewed at the end of the 2008 and 2009 Vodacom Tri Nations and is being reviewed once again. He has previously been called to account for his comments and the subject will again form part of his review. He is being treated no differently to his predecessor who was also reviewed at the end of some indifferent Tri Nations campaigns."


From Belfast Telegraph