Former Springbok rugby coach Peter de Villiers is making a return to international rugby as Zimbabwe’s national rugby team coach.
De Villiers responded to the announcement made by Zimbabwe Rugby Union on Wednesday morning saying it was “the greatest day of [his] life”.
According to reports, the former Bok coach had been for an interview for the position while in the country to consult with Zimbabwe’s under-20 team. The 60-year-old said at the time that it would be an “honour” to be selected to coach the national team.
“I’m still a servant of the game and would want to serve whenever and whatever I can,” de Villiers added.
Despite his eagerness De Villiers said he was not expecting to get the job because of the other “great candidates” that had also applied.
De Villiers, who is coming back from a seven-year break from international rugby, has reportedly signed a two-year contract and will have the massive task of trying to get Zimbabwe’s team to qualify for the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year.
De Villiers will be assisted by Brendon Dawson.
Zimbabwe has only twice managed to qualify for the international tournament, once in 1987 and again in 1991.
De Villiers coached the Springboks from 2008 to 2011 and in his term saw a number of successes including winning both the Tri-Nations and a series against the British & Irish Lions in 2009.
De Villers was fired after the Springboks’s controversial 11-9 loss against the Wallabies at the 2011 World Cup in the quarter-finals.