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VIDEO: Rassie keeps his captaincy cards close to his chest

Eben Etzebeth, Bongi Mbonambi or and Pieter-Steph du Toit.

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Those are among the most obvious choices to captain South Africa in their season-opener against Wales at Twickenham next Saturday, June 22.

However, Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus said he would only announce the actual captain on Sunday.

“To be honest with you, inside the team, the captaincy is not such a big thing,” Erasmus told a media briefing.

“A long-term permanent captain is something,” he added.

“We’re going into this Wales Test without [regular skipper] Siya [Kolisi] and without seeing how Siya is going to come back from France injury-free.

“We’ll need to assess him and see how he slots into things.”

(Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus speaks about potential captains for the Wales Test next week….)

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The Bok coach said he has two weeks after the Wales Test to make a call on his long-term captaincy.

“It will probably be Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben [Etzebeth] or Bongi [Mbonambi],” he said of the captain for the Walesx Test.

“However, we might want to start Malcolm [Marx] to manage his game time.

“If Bongo goes down in 10 minutes, Malcolm doesn’t have to play 70 minutes.

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“The guys are all leading well.

“The core of the group that has been with us for four years, understands that there are youngsters around them.

“We’ll make that call on Sunday, after the Bulls game [United Rugby Championship semifinal against Leinster at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday],” Erasmus said, adding that it will first be announced internally and then to the public.

Erasmus said they will reveal the long-term captain once they announce the squad for the two-match Test series against Ireland in July.

“A guy like Siya will be in the running if everything goes well and he is injury-free.”

Kolisi is among 13 Springboks from the matchday 23 that beat New Zealand 12-11 in the World Cup Final in Paris last October who have been ruled out due to club duties, injuries or suspension.

The loose forward moved to Paris after the 2023 World Cup triumph.

Ireland beat South Africa in a pool match at the World Cup last year before the Springboks claimed one-point victories over France, England and New Zealand to achieve back-to-back titles.

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In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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