After a rampaging performance against the All Blacks at Newlands last week‚ lock Eben Etzebeth has been installed as the Springbok captain for the remainder of the year.
Coach Allister Coetzee confirmed the appointment yesterday, hours after it was revealed that No 8 Warren Whiteley would not play again this season.
Whiteley was named as South Africa’s captain in June but suffered a groin injury before the third test against France – and has subsequently had surgery.
Although it was hoped Whiteley would tour Ireland‚ Europe and Britain with the Boks next month‚ his recovery has been slower than expected.
Etzebeth led the Springboks throughout the Rugby Championship‚ in which they ended third – despite losing only two of their six matches.
Coetzee said Etzebeth had been impressive in the new leadership role so far.
“Eben has really taken to his role as captain of the Springboks and it makes sense to retain him‚” the coach said.
“I know he is well respected by talking to opposition coaches and referees – and he enjoys the respect of his peers.
“With Eben at the helm for the tour‚ we are looking forward to continue building continuity‚ cohesion and experience in this team, as we also start to build towards the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan,” Coetzee said.
Meanwhile‚ prop Coenie Oosthuizen‚ who fractured an arm against the Wallabies in Perth‚ is making good pro- gress and will be available for selection.
Loose forward Uzair Cassiem sustained a rib injury against the Wallabies two weeks ago in Bloemfontein and the injury has ruled him out for an initial period of six weeks. He will be available for selection.
Duane Vermeulen has had a groin operation and the fiery No 8 is in the final phase of rehabilitation and is not available.
Two other Springbok forwards are recovering from longterm injuries and cannot be considered for the tour.
Prop Frans Malherbe has been out since June with a neck injury and is due to resume training early next year.
Flank Jaco Kriel had a shoulder operation, following an injury in Perth, but is out for six months.
Wing Ruan Combrinck is out for six months because of a shoulder operation. The contracted group and identified Springboks will assemble in Stellenbosch from October 23 for a four-day training‚ assessment and conditioning camp in preparation for the tour.