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De Villiers says he is like Jesus Christ

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Springboks coach Peter de Villiers hit back at his critics following his side’s record win over the Wallabies, claiming they are unpatriotic and comparing his plight to that of Jesus Christ.

De Villiers, the first black man to coach the Springboks, has been under intense pressure at home after the world champions had slumped to just one win from their opening five Tri-Nations Tests.

But inflicting on the Wallabies their biggest ever losing margin in Sunday’s 53-8 thrashing has given de Villiers some breathing space.

“If they can become patriotic and believe in what’s happening in South Africa and not look for their honey outside of the borders and offer support (rather) than stomping on people who gave them hours and hours of joy last year and this year, we as a nation will grow much better,” de Villiers said of his detractors.

“We didn’t go out there to show them that they were wrong, we went out there to exactly showcase our talents and the belief that we do have in ourselves.” he told AAP.

De Villiers was loudly booed after his side lost in Durban and at least one local newspaper columnist shuddered at the message sent from a predominantly white crowd.

South African rugby admitted when de Villiers was appointed, that it was partly to aid the transformation of rugby in the country from its former position as a bastion of the white population.

De Villiers has sought to change the way the Boks play, implementing a more expansive game-plan which he believes is necessary under rugby’s experimental laws.

But the coach has also become as well known for his colourful press conferences as his coaching prowess and this time has been no exception.

“The same people who threw their robes on the ground when Jesus rode on a donkey were the same people who crowned him and hit him with sticks and stuff like that, and were the same people who said afterwards how we shouldn’t have done that, he’s the son of God,” de Villiers said.

“So that’s exactly what we do. You have to look at history is repeating itself, and I’m not saying that I’m God.”

 
Rugbyweek.com

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