Paul O’Connell Pays Classy Tribute To Retiring Jean De Villiers
After 4 World Cups, 106 tests & 27 tries – Jean De Villiers called time on his international career yesterday after yet another injury set-back.
Ireland captain Paul O’Connell, who played with De Villiers at Munster in 2010/11, paid tribute to him after his side beat Romania 44-10.
“He’s a great guy, an incredible leader,” said O’Connell. “He has all the values you admire and want in a captain.
“I think World Cups just don’t seem to work out for him.
“It’s so disappointing for him, especially to go on the journey he did to come back from his knee injury.
“And then to pick up a knock on his jaw five weeks ago as well, to get back from that and now to pick up this, it’s very disappointing for him. But that’s Test rugby.
“He’s had a terrific career, he’s a fantastic player and I wish him the best in his retirement.”
Asked if de Villiers immediate retirement would create further tremors for the Boks, O’Connell considered his response.
“They seem to have a lot of strength in depth but he will be a big loss for them.
“He’s a big leader for them, he has a lot of experience, defensively he’s a very clever player in that backline and he’s just a calming influence.
“They’ve got some young guys in that backline and he was a good guy to have in there with them. So he’ll be a big loss.”