De Villiers targets Stormers
Centre Jean de Villiers is hoping to return to the Stormers after announcing his decision to quit Munster and go back to South Africa.
By Rachel Griffiths
Last Updated: 24/02/10 2:56pm
Centre Jean de Villiers is hoping to return to the Stormers after announcing his decision to quit Munster and go back to his home land South Africa.
The 28-year-old signed an initial one-year contract when he joined the Red Army last September, but revealed last week he is departing the Irish club to fulfil his ambition of representing the Springboks at the World Cup next year.
The move is a result of confirmation from the South African Rugby Union (SARU) that players plying their trade outside of the country will not be considered for selection ahead of next year's finals in New Zealand.
De Villiers is yet to locate a new club and admits he will be disappointed if he does not to return to Cape Town.
"It will be difficult for me to pull on any other (provincial) jersey than that of Western Province and the Stormers," De Villiers told www.sport.24.com.
"I will see where I'm needed. Province is where I always played before. It would be the union that I would like to return to. It depends on whether they want me or not."
De Villiers, who has won 55 caps for the Springboks, will wrap up the season at Munster before moving back to South Africa, with his last match in the northern hemisphere set to be with the Barbarians against Ireland on June 4.
That fixture falls just one week before South Africa take on France at Newlands, and De Villiers is uncertain of whether he will be included in the international clash, adding: "The Springboks play the weekend after that. I don't know whether I'll be in contention for the team."
Desire to play in the World Cup is the sole motivation behind De Villiers' move, especially since he missed the 2003 tournament through a knee injury, while a bicep injury in the first match of the event four years later ruled him out of the remaining finals.
"When the time came for me to decide whether I should extend my contract with Munster, I asked myself whether I wanted to play in the World Cup," he said.
"The World Cup is so special that I would have regretted it had I not tried to come into the reckoning."
Managing director of Western Province Rugby Rob Wagner last week reported the union's interest in signing former midfield star De Villiers.
"Jean is a world class player who has excelled on the international stage," said Wagner.
"He has played all his rugby in the Cape having represented both WP and the Stormers. We will be contacting him to learn more of his intentions and explore opportunities."