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Who will be the new Bok captain?

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer will announce an interim captain for South Africa on Tuesday.

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Even though there's been no formal confirmation, the fact the a media briefing has been scheduled to name an 'interim' captain confirms that current stand-in captain Victor Matfield will not play against New Zealand at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Matfield, who suffered a hamstring injury in the first half of last week's 20-24 loss to Australia in Brisbane, was standing in for the injured Jean de Villiers.

And Meyer has made it very clear that De Villiers won't be considered this week.

So who are the candidates in the current Bok squad?

The front-runners, surely, are Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Ruan Pienaar, Bismarck du Plessis and Adriaan Strauss – with Bryan Habana, Patrick Lambie and Warren Whiteley at long-odds.

If you really want to stir the pot, why not throw Flip van der Merwe's name in there – seeing as though he is now 'available' again.

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Nah, surely Meyer won't do that? Just me being silly.

On a more serious note. Will/should Meyer rush Fourie du Preez back, from his conditioning squad in Pretoria, to have the experience and proven leadership of 70 Tests on the park?

There is no doubt Du Preez will be first choice as scrumhalf at the World Cup.Who will be the new Bok captain?

It is worth remembering that when Matfield went off in Brisbane at the weekend, Pienaar (the official vice-captain) took over the captaincy. When Pienaar went off Burger to over.

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However, Bath-based loose forward Francois Louw, with 35 Test caps to his credit, is the first choice on my list. He has captained Bath and is a respected institution in the Bok squad.

Stormers loose forward Schalk Burger will be next on my list, very close to Louw. With 76 Test caps and his never-say-die attitude you can't go wrong. In fact I feel he deserves it, given is extraordinary comeback from injury and a life-threatening disease.

The Ireland-based scrumhalf, Ruan Pienaar, is definitely high on Meyer's list and unlike most armchair critics would give him credit for, he is a quality player. He also has the respect of his teammates and an astute tactician. Maybe not everybody's cup of tea, but very high up on my estimation.

Whoever starts at hooker – Bismarck du Plessis and Adriaan Strauss – must be in the running.

Du Plessis, with 71 caps, had mixed results as Sharks captain, but he remains a vital part of the team and currently the starting hooker. He must be in the mix.

Strauss, who has not been at his best since his move to the Bulls, have 45 caps and comes into the frame based on his outstanding leadership at the Cheetahs. Can the Bok captaincy re-ignite has game?

Veteran wing Bryan Habana, 107 caps, is a proven match-winner and while his captaincy credentials are somewhat sketchy, his leadership within the Bok set-up is not to be scoffed at.

Could Patrick Lambie, with 41 Test caps, sneak in through the back door? He has captained the Sharks on occasion.

Of course Warren Whiteley has only two caps, just 30-odd minutes of official Test rugby and 60 minutes in an non-cap international against the World XV. However, his captaincy at the Lions should make him a candidate.

I will finish by repeating that Fourie du Preez could be rushed back early to help out his country in a time of need.

By Jan de Koning

@King365ed

@rugby365com

 

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