analysisBy Ken Borland
Jean de Villiers will once again lead the Springboks as they begin their European tour against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday and, having completed a successful Rugby Championship campaign as the best inside centre in the competition, he will be reunited with his old midfield partner in Jaque Fourie.
But apart from his actual play, he has also earned massive praise for his captaincy of the Springboks.
De Villiers is a captain who sanctions no ill-discipline and he has led from the front in this respect with his refusal to get rattled by dirty hits by the likes of Ma'a Nonu or terrible refereeing at the hands of Romain Poite.
Even those critics back home who believe the 32-year-old De Villiers should be discarded because of his age, regardless of how well he is playing, fail to get much of a reaction from a man whose calmness can only bring good things for his team.
International rugby is a macho world of not giving an inch, of fighting for supremacy and never showing the slightest hint of softness. Which makes it all the more remarkable when someone like De Villiers comes along and proves that nice guys...