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Jean de Villiers takes his instruction from Tony McGahan
Billy Stickland
De Villiers Firmly Focused
4 April 2010, 11:10 am
By The Editor
Jean de Villiers has answered the questions about how he feels having played his last game in Musgrave Park and how he feels having played his last game in Thomond Park so he's determined to avoid another of those questions next week in relation to this year's Heineken Cup.
His immediate thoughts do not centre solely on marking his time in Munster with silverware in his bag when he heads for home although admitting two pieces would be a great way to end his tenure here.

"At this stage the only thing I'm focussing on is my performance individually and the team performance as a collective unit this weekend in a semi final. I think once you start planning too far ahead you can get lost with what's coming up. This is the time of the year, it's the old cliche, take one game at a time. Put a good performance together, get a result and move on to the next challenge." he says.

"You know," he continues, "the reason I came abroad and chose a team like Munster is because of how successful they've been in the past. And you don't want to be the guy in the squad not doing your bit, not putting the performances together as an individual that makes the team successful this year as well."

"If we don't win the Heineken Cup, the year will not be a success for us and I think that's how it will be viewed by the public as well. That's the sort of ambition that's in this squad. That's one of the attractions for joining them. So there's a big onus on every individual to do their part in getting that result."

A semi-final in the heartland of Biarritz's Basque support leaves Munster with a huge task ? "Yes of course. They're a great side with strong tradition in this competition. But you have to be confident but not over stepping the line I think."

"When you go into a game like this you need the confidence to know you have the ability to win the game first of all. If you don't go in with that mentality then there's no point in going."

And going into the game without captain Paul O'Connell? "Of course Paul will be missed. He's a great player, a great leader. But we have the players, the experience to cope. One of the things I have learned through my career is that everyone can be replaced. Yes we'll miss him without a doubt but I think Micko's been fantastic in the role he's played along with Donncha obviously and the leadership abilities he's shown along with Rog."

" I think it'll be the same for them with Traille. He's a fantastic player. I've played against him at international level so it'll be a big blow for them. We know their defensive structure will stay much the same I don't think they'll change their whole game plan because one player is out."

"I never played in San Sebastian. It's one of the privileges of playing rugby is that you travel the world and you get paid for what you love. It's fantastic to go there I'll definitely enjoy the experience certainly not a holiday experience."

"It's work at hand and hopefully get the job done."

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