No Bok captains 'popping up'

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 10:14
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Springbok coach Allister Coetzee says no names are 'popping up' at him, as he searches for a new captain.

The retired from the international arena by veteran hooker Adriaan Strauss means one of Coetzee's main headaches ahead of the three-Test series against France in June is finding a team leader.

"The captaincy matter is not clear-cut," Coetzee told a media briefing in Johannesburg, at the first of three Bok training camps.

"There are ifs and buts," Coetzee said, adding: "Even if you had to decide on the captain, [you have to ask:] 'Is he the best? Is he a [definite] starter? Will he be accepted by a big group?'

"There is a process I'll follow, but I'll appoint a captain well before the June Tests."

Coetzee also said there is no limit placed on him on the number of overseas-based players he can select.

This follows the ruling that last week that only players with 30 Test caps or more - who are based abroad - will qualify for the Boks.

This means players like Marcell Coetzee (28 Tests), Heinrich Brüssow (23), Cobus Reinach (10), Steven Kitshoff (10), Vincent Koch (nine), Marcel van der Merwe (seven) and Lourens Adriaanse (six) currently don't qualify under the new foreign policy.

The new ruling only comes into effect on July 1, which means a player like Coetzee could reach the qualification mark if he features in two of the June Tests.

Those currently abroad who do qualify include Bryan Habana (124), Ruan Pienaar (88), Schalk Burger (86), Bismarck du Plessis (79), JP Pietersen (70), Jannie du Plessis (70), Morné Steyn (66), Frans Steyn (53), Pierre Spies (53), Francois Louw (52), Willem Alberts (43), Willie le Roux (41), Francois Hougaard (39), Wynand Olivier (38), Duane Vermeulen (37), Flip van der Merwe (37) and Zane Kirchner (31).

"No there is no limit to the guys over 30 caps we can pick," Coetzee said.

"I'm happy with that.

"The players have done the hard work in South Africa, they have played their 30 Test matches.

"These players must also - in terms of succession planning - perform in World Cup 2019 and be available for that. So that is the policy and I'm really pleased with the policy.

"The big thing in the policy is to retain our players. And hopefully, it will retain a young player thinking that - as a potential Springbok - thinking twice before playing overseas, rather opting to stay and be available and play for South Africa."