The former France prop is now in charge of the Scottish pack

Pieter de Villiers: Ten things you should know about the Scotland scrum coach

Pieter de Villiers played for France and is now the scrum coach for Scotland. Here are some things you should know about the coach…

Ten things you should know about Pieter de Villiers

1. Pieter de Villiers was born on 3 July 1972 in Malmesbury, South Africa.

As a player, he competed for Stade Francias and France.

2. He was forced to retire in 2008 after not being able to recover from a back injury.

3. In late 2019 he was appointed Scotland’s scrum coach having been in the same role for South Africa. While his stay at Scotland was described as “short term” when he took the role, the coach still remains in the position.

4. South Africa coach Deon Davids said De Villiers’s work with Scotland has impressed them. He said: “Pieter de Villiers is a very good scrum coach. I worked with him during two World Rugby U20 Championship campaigns with the Junior Springboks and he understands the South African mentality.

“We’ve seen what he has achieved with the Scottish forwards, so they’ll select a technically good and competitive pack.”

5. De Villiers was a part of the Scotland coaching team in 2021 when Scotland beat France in Paris for the first time since 1999.

6. He said Scotland’s players “may say I’m a hard taskmaster” but that “small tweaks made big differences”, which is how the team have improved.

7. In his playing career, De Villiers tested positive for cocaine and ecstasy after a random drugs test.

He denied taking the drugs and said: “I have always been honest with my sport and I do not take drugs.

“I live for my passion for rugby and I do not have a clue how these traces got into my body. I have not eaten or slept in the past 24 hours and I keep asking myself thousands of questions.”

He was not banned because out-of-competition testing for stimulants such as cocaine is not allowed under French law.

8. He won 69 France caps and scored two Test tries between 1999 and 2007.

9. He played for Stade Francais 150 times and won the French title on five occasions.

10. Gregor Townsend spoke highly of him when he was appointed, saying: “He’s passionate about the scrum and has top level Test experience, having played for many years at Stade Francais and the French national team.

“He’ll be focused on improving our scrum collectively and working closely on improving the individuals in our team.”

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