Peter de Villiers arrived at Harare Airport on Monday. Photo: Gamba Sports Management via Facebook

HARARE – Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers was on Tuesday interviewed for the Zimbabwe national team coaching job as South Africa’s neighbours seek a coach who can help launch a strong challenge for a place at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

De Villiers is widely expected to get the job, but after the interview, he said that even if he failed to land it, he would be available to assist Zimbabwe with their preparations for the qualifiers to be played this year.

“It would be an honour to coach Zimbabwe, but I’m waiting anxiously on decisions to be made by the board, and I believe they will make the right decision. I’m still a servant of the game and would want to serve whenever and whatever I can,” he said.

“I’m not expecting to get the job because I know there are a lot of great candidates who also came for the job, and I know they are capable of getting the team to the next level.”

Collin Osborne was also expected in Harare on Tuesday for an interview, but insiders have said that the Harlequins Skills coach, who once coached Zimbabwe, will be appointed director of rugby.

Zimbabwe had a terrible run in the Africa Gold Cup last year, where they won only one match, against Senegal, and lost the rest to Kenya, Namibia, Uganda and Tunisia.

They will be playing the same opponents in this year’s edition of the same competition, which this time doubles up as the World Cup qualifiers.

Some of the country’s best players declined to play under previous coach Cyprian Mandenge, who was sacked after a dismal run.

But De Villiers would be able to woo the country’s best talents, some of whom play their rugby in South Africa.

Last time, Zimbabwe missed out on an automatic place at the World Cup finals in England, with Namibia claiming the ticket.

Zimbabwe went on to lose against Russia in the playoffs.

African News Agency (ANA)