Rugby evening headlines as Springbok coach’s wife found dead three years after daughter died at 28

Here are the latest rugby evening headlines on Monday, April 4.

South Africa coach’s double tragedy

The wife of former Springboks coach Peter de Villiers was found dead in a swimming pool on Monday, according to reports in South Africa.

The body of 62-year-old Theresa de Villiers was found by a family member at a house in Port Elizabeth, and she was declared dead at the scene by emergency services, the Herald reports.

Police spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said no foul play was suspected. “The deceased is from Paarl but she was visiting family in Gqeberha,” she said. “She was found in the pool by a family member. The circumstances surrounding the drowning is under investigation.”

The outlet said the former Springboks coach, who was in charge during the British and Irish Lions’ tour in 2009, said he was unable to talk about what had happened.

In 2019, the family was rocked when their 28-year-old daughter Odille died after suffering with cancer. The tumor on her chest de ella-an aggressive lymphoma-was too close to her heart to be surgically removed.

World Rugby boss: Foul play will decrease

World Rugby chief executive officer Alan Gilpin believes the large number of red cards being handed out will drop as players and officials adapt to the crackdown on foul play. Super Rugby Pacific, in particular, has seen a number of red card incidents.

“The most important issue for the game is safety,” Gilpin said, via PlanetRugby. “From our perspective we’re trying to make the game as safe as possible, but at the same time having a great spectacle. We want people to want to watch and play rugby, and we want kids to be inspired by that. So it’s a really tough balance to strike.

“I think we’ve gone out with a really strong message in terms of sanction around head injury and head impact, in particular, that’s really important so we can address tackle technique, the height, the high hits, etc. And over time I think what will see is the players and the coaches adapt to that and we’ll end up coming out the right side.”

As for some red cards being issued for poor timing rather than malicious intent, he added: “It’s hard, and again we’re seeing more red cards, but we’re seeing protection of the players ultimately. Those cards are being issued because the match officials, as we’re asking them to, are protecting the players and hopefully we’re finding the right balance. It’s difficult, we’re in a really complex collision sport where those decisions are being made in fractions of seconds, so we have a lot of sympathy for players who at times are getting that wrong and are being on the wrong side of it. “

Wales: ‘We can’t leave it late against England’

Wales captain Siwan Lillicrap has urged her side to get into the game from the first minute after a Welsh win only looked possible from the 76th minute against Scotland.

Ioan Cunningham’s Wales side were level or behind up until that point of their second-round Women’s Six Nations clash on Saturday, much like their round one win away to Ireland when another strong push in the final 10 minutes led to a comeback win.

“My message to the girls at the end of the game was we can’t keep doing this, we can’t keep waiting until the last 10 minutes, even though it’s great entertaining rugby and everyone’s on the edge of their seats, we’ Go got to maybe start a little bit better!” No. 8 Lillicrap said post-match.

“We believe as a squad that we’re a good outfit and we can play well and execute, and we did that, but it would be nice to go ahead and stay ahead rather than being the chasers. I couldn’t be prouder of the girls and the resilience and fight and hard work to grind it out and come out on top.

“England are the top team in the world for a reason and we play with and against their girls week in week out in the Premier 15s. We know how good they are, so we’ve got to measure up, show them some respect and then give them a great game.”

Wales scrum-half Keira Bevan echoed her captain’s message, saying: “We can’t start slowly against England. If we start that slowly, we’re going to be God knows how many points down, so we have to start strongly against England .”

Ex-All Blacks coach joins Black Ferns set-up

Former All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith has come out of retirement to join the Black Ferns’ coaching roster as technical coach as they prepare to host this year’s postponed Rugby World Cup. Smith was part of the All Blacks set-up for 16 years, helping they win the 2011 and 2015 World Cups.

The Black Ferns – New Zealand’s women’s team – are bidding to secure their sixth World Cup triumph when they host the tournament between October 8 and November 12, but they face big challenges from England – who recorded their 20th successive win at the weekend – and France . New Zealand lost to both of those sides during the autumn.

Smith, 64, said he was inspired to come out of retirement by a commitment he made to his late friend Laurie O’Reilly, the first coach of the Black Ferns. “I indicated to him before he passed away that I would help the women’s rugby in whatever way I could, and now I get the chance,” he said. “The coaching group is all on the same page around the type of game we need to play to win the World Cup. There is a lot of work to be done to get there but it is going to be exhilarating.”

Australia preferred candidate for 2029 World Cup

World Rugby has announced Australia as the preferred candidate to host the 2029 Women’s World Cup.

Monday’s confirmation comes ahead of a week of meetings between World Rugby, Rugby Australia and government and city representatives to progress the hosting model for the men’s and women’s world cups in 2027 and 2029, followed by a final World Rugby Council vote in Dublin in May.

Rugby Australia Chairman Hamish McLennan said: “We’re delighted to be named preferred candidate to host Rugby World Cup 2029. This is a truly wonderful addition to our bid for Rugby World Cup 2027 and we would love to welcome the pinnacle event on the women’s XVs calendar to our shores for the first time in 2029. [The] announcement is another step in the right direction for Rugby in Australia as we head towards the final decision by World Rugby Council in May. We continue to be buoyed by the spirit of collaboration in which we are working with World Rugby.”

Ireland prop agrees Wasps move

Wasps have signed a second international tighthead prop for next season after Ireland’s John Ryan agreed to move to the CBS Arena.

Ryan will join South African World Cup winner Vincent Koch in Coventry when his contract at Munster expires at the end of the current campaign. The 33-year-old won the last of his 24 Ireland caps against Japan in 2021 and has made almost 200 appearances for Munster.

“John is a quality scrummager and his experience will be a significant asset for us,” Wasps head coach Lee Blackett said. “He has a huge amount of experience of being at the business end of competitions with Munster and Ireland.” His desire for him to win things really grabbed my attention when we met with him. He’s a real team player and he will be a great bloke to have around the club next season.


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