Forget Jake White, and Heyneke Meyer, All Blacks legend Richie McCaw says the toughest Springbok team he played against was that of Peter de Villiers.
While White will be remembered for winning the 2007 World Cup with the Springboks, and Meyer for losing to Japan, De Villiers should be remembered as the coach who brought the toughest team.
That’s if the most-capped player of all time, McCaw, is to be believed.
A tweet by New Zealand rugby sponsor AIG in response to who McCaw’s toughest opposition was, reads: “Richie said: “The 2009 [Tri-Nations] Springboks team – they were smart and tough to play against.”
With John Smit leading on the field, the Boks beat NZ three times, twice at home and most famously in Hamilton, with Ricky Januarie scoring a memorable Springbok try.