Peter de Villiers is reading Revelations. The last man to bring about the downfall of the British & Irish Lions began the lockdown with the Psalms when he, like the rest of us, was seeking upliftment. Now he’s on the last book of the New Testament, an appropriate part of the Bible in these apocalyptic times.

The former Springbok rugby coach often reaches for his favourite book to explain himself in biblical homilies. He has used the stories of Joseph in the pit and Daniel in the lions’ den as examples of struggle, and of David in confronting rugby’s Goliaths. All are valid. De Villiers has genuine struggle credentials and his Springbok teams slayed the Lions, won the Tri-Nations and defeated the All Blacks for the first time in Dunedin. The South Island city is home to New Zealand rugby’s fortress at Carisbrook, the notorious “House of Pain”, where the Boks had not won in seven previous Tests over 87 years. Indeed, the All Blacks have lost at Carisbrook only five times in 35 T...

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