24 Jul 2010

De Villiers retracts All Blacks remarks

7:57 am on 24 July 2010

Outspoken Springboks rugby coach Peter de Villiers has backtracked over his insinuation that there is a conspiracy to have the All Blacks winning ahead of next year's World Cup in New Zealand.

De Villiers has been upset with refereeing by Irish officials in the two Springboks defeats in New Zealand and unhappy that a third referee from Ireland had been selected for Saturday's test against Australia in Brisbane.

On Australian television on Wednesday he said there was a World Cup in New Zealand next year and "maybe it was the right thing for them to win the games so they can attract more people to the games next year."

However in a statement released by the South African rugby union on Friday, he said that in no manner did he ever suggest the All Blacks were being favoured by match officials because of the Rugby World Cup.

De Villiers says the All Blacks were better than South Africa in their two recent victories.

He says his comments were based around his belief that part of any successful World Cup rested on the host having a winning team.