Jean de Villiers receives standing ovation as Springboks cruise to win over World XV

Updated at 19.20pm

South Africa 46World XV 10

NINE MONTHS AFTER sustaining a dislocated knee and ligament damage, South Africa captain Jean de Villiers completed his remarkable comeback this afternoon.

There were fears the 34-year-old would be forced to call time on his career after suffering the injury during the Springboks’ defeat to Wales in Cardiff last November.

However, de Villiers has completed months of rigorous rehabilitation and was a second-half substitute during South Africa’s 46-10 victory over the World XV in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.

His introduction was met by a standing ovation from the Newlands crowd.

“It was awesome to be back,” said the 34-year-old, who showed no ill effects of his long absence and made a break to set up the fifth of seven Springbok tries.

“I felt fine and it was very emotional running on to the field with the crowd cheering me. It is so nice to be back.”

Willie le Roux scored a hat-trick of tries during the non-cap exhibition match as the Springboks began their preparations for the Rugby Championship in style.

Eben Etzebeth and Cobus Reinach also crossed the line while Damian de Allende helped himself to a brace.

It was an encouraging start to an important few months for the Springboks. Source: AP/Press Association Images

The World XV’s try came courtesy of hooker Craig Burden before the interval.

Another plus for the hosts was an impressive debut by outside centre Jesse Kriel, 21, who switched seamlessly from his usual full-back position.