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Former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has been described as a hero in the picturesque town of Paarl in the Western Cape.

De Villiers and his wife were shopping at The Boer & Butcher when he saw a man slipping chocolates into his bag.

“I watched him the whole time without him seeing that I was watching him.”

The man then proceeded to walk out of the store.

“When I looked again, he just slowly started walking out. And when he walked out, I also slowly walked behind him.”

When the 41-year-old confronted the man by following him and saying ‘hey’, the man started to run.

“Then I just said to myself, but I must also run now. And then I ran out of my sandals and glasses and finally across the road.”

Thank goodness for muscle memory and years of running on a rugby field because de Villiers ran after the man and eventually caught him.

He returned the man to the shop and handed him over to a security guard.

The shop’s owner, Edu Hanekom told Netwerk24 that the scenario ended up being quite an event.

“We are very grateful for Jean’s actions. It was quite a thing when a former Springbok rugby captain arrived with the thief.”

News24 reports that de Villiers played 109 Tests for the Springboks between 2002 and 2015.

Image credit: Sky Sports

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