The Sunday Mail
SABLES coach Peter de Villiers (Pictured) has been put on a tight leash and will no longer be single-handedly responsible for selection of men’s national rugby team players.
Despite a spirited push to have him fired, PDV was given the mandate to continue at the helm when the Zimbabwe Rugby Union met in Kwekwe last weekend.
Those pushing for the South African coach’s jettisoning argued he had failed to meet the target of taking Zimbabwe to the World Cup.
After hours of deliberations the ZRU resolved to stick with PDV.
The Sunday Mail Sport established that it will not, however, be business as usual with the Sables gaffer set to have his wings clipped.
De Villiers, whose team selection has often raised eyebrows, will now be required to work with a selection committee. ZRU president Aaron Jani hopes that a selection committee and a revamped six-team national league will give PDV a better understanding of Zimbabwean rugby.
“You have to understand that Peter de Villiers is a foreigner and only had roughly six months to get acquainted with the Zimbabwe rugby culture and player base. The hope is that in the selection committee and establishment of this six-team league, De Villiers will have the right kind of backing that can produce results come next year,” he said.
While PDV publicly took most of the flake for a doomed Gold Cup campaign , which saw the Sables miss out on the World Cup, the ZRU are owning up to their own mistakes.
Jani admitted they failed to give the Sables gaffer the support he needed.
“In retrospect, we accept that we could have done more to aid Peter de Villiers,” said Jani.
“I say this because, first of all, targeting world cup qualification right from the start was a bit presumptuous on our part, especially considering where we are coming from. We needed to be realistic and take it one step at a time. The league was in disarray with very little rugby being played and this is something we hope to resolve with the establishment of this six-team league.
“Once running, we will have our players playing regular competitive rugby and give our coach and selection panel a more robust group players to choose from.”