Rugby legend Jean de Villiers bows out with wine and special friends


Jean de Villiers ended 13 years as a Springbok by sipping wine in the middle of the night with team-mate and former schoolmate Schalk Burger, childhood idol Danie Gerber and golfer Ernie Els.

The South Africa skipper and centre fractured a jaw on Saturday in a 46-6 Rugby World Cup mauling of Samoa in Birmingham that got the twice champions’ campaign back on track after a stunning loss to Japan.

Ruled out of the tournament by the injury, 34-year-old De Villiers later announced his retirement, drawing the curtains on a 109-Test career.

It was a heartbreaking ending for the Cape Town-based star who had overcome a serious knee ligament injury and the fracture of the other side of his jaw to make the World Cup squad.

De Villiers has had rotten World Cup luck – missing the 2003 tournament because of a shoulder injury and being ruled out of the Springboks 2007 campaign after one match with a biceps injury.


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