Heineken Cup as tough as Super14: De Villiers

Munster’s recent signing Jean de Villiers says after playing in the Heineken Cup that the tournament is as tough as playing in the Super 14.

De Villiers played in the Super 14 for the Stormers and was even captain of the Cape Town based team.

Speaking after his first Heineken Cup game he sad. “”It was obviously disappointing losing the game but it was a great experience. Unfortunately we didn’t get the win but I’m looking forward to playing at Thomond Park and hopefully we can get a win under our belts then.”

De Villiers was left in little doubt Saturday’s match compared well with what he was used to in the Super 14.

“It’s definitely right up there. Tough, very physical, good pace to the game and the skills levels high of the guys are pretty high.” he said on Munster’s website.

“For me it was very enjoyable and just as tough as any of the Super 14 (games) I’ve played anywhere.”

“That was really really good. Back home we’ve usually got bigger stadiums but it’s harder to fill them. Here they’re smaller so you really feel the crowd close to you. The atmosphere was fantastic.

“And to see the traveling support for Munster was awesome. Probably because of distances we don’t really have that at home. So again for me that was a great experience, very enjoyable.”

The only downside to De Villiers’ first match was that his new team lost. “As I said it was disappointing. But for me it was pleasing how the team came back into the game.

“Twice we gave them an easy seven points and they built up a real big lead.

“But we worked hard to come came right back just to miss out at the end.”

De Villiers also said that he was still settling into the side after leaving the familiarity of the Springboks who had just won the TriNations,”I think it takes a bit of getting used to a new team, new players.

“Its about getting comfortable in the team and your role in the team but I think its getting better each week and I’m looking forward to Thomond Park next weekend.”

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