Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
14 Nov 2014
6:00 pm

History is in the past, says Springbok skipper

Rudolph Jacobs

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers doesn’t believe England are carrying mental scars, having not beaten South Africa for eight years.

FILE PICTURE: Jean de Villiers. Picture: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images.

De Villiers responded on Friday at a conference in London how worked up England might be, having to deal with a 11-match unbeaten run of the Boks since 2006.

The Springboks face England at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon.

“What comes through in those tough situations are your instincts, and those players have all experienced success at international and club level,” he said.

“So I don’t think England have a mental handicap, having not beaten us for a while,” he said.

De Villiers used the example of them having beaten New Zealand for the first time since 2011 this year, so he expressed the opinion that it’s only a mindset thing.

“We have managed to beat the All Blacks this year, it’s an old thing about records they are there to be broken,” he said.

“But we certainly don’t want them to do it and we have our own goals, but there’s a lot on the line and it makes for a great game,” he said.

De Villiers said they also needed to make an intensified and mental mindset change this week after the Ireland debacle.

“That’s been the key focus for us and if we change that and function well again with our first phases, because the challenge will be different and fierce, then we’ll tick the right boxes,” he said.