Harare – Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has been fired by the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) for unauthorised absence from work.
According to the AP website, De Villiers was fired according to internal ZRU documents, but has indicated he will appeal his dismissal in a labour court.
The documents spell out how De Villiers failed to return to work in Zimbabwe after a vacation last year.
He was suspended and later fired following a disciplinary hearing.
De Villiers said the ZRU had “expelled” him for missing work while he was at his cancer-stricken daughter’s side, also claiming that his bosses had accused him of faking the fact that his daughter was ill.
De Villiers recently won the hearts of many when an image of him sleeping next to his daughter Odille Monk during her chemotherapy sessions was posted on social media.
De Villiers was hired by Zimbabwe on a two-year contract in February 2018 – for a reported R115 000 per month salary – with the aim of getting the country back to the Rugby World Cup for the first time since 1991.
Not only did Zimbabwe fail to make the 2019 World Cup, they were nearly relegated from Africa’s top-tier competition.
De Villiers coached the Springboks between 2008 and 2011 and was the director of rugby at the University of the Western Cape between 2012 and 2015.
During his tenure as Springbok coach, De Villiers won five out of 11 Tests against the All Blacks – a better record than most Bok coaches in recent times.
Other notable achievements for De Villiers as Bok coach was a Tri-Nations win in 2009, as well as a series win over the British and Irish Lions that same year.