Cape Town - Allister Coetzee has not named his captain for the upcoming Test series against Ireland in June, but it appears that Duane Vermeulen will not be given that honour.
Vermeulen, who plays his rugby at French club Toulon, was strongly tipped to be Coetzee's skipper for the June 11 Test in Cape Town.
But the message on Saturday night from the new Bok coach was that having an overseas-based captain was not an idea he wanted to entertain.
"It’s not ideal to have your captain based overseas and we
are looking internally," Coetzee confirmed.
"There is a leadership group which will work very
closely with the national captain.
"In the event that the South African-based
captain had to leave the field then obviously there is nothing wrong with
getting your overseas-based player to take over the leadership on the field."
Coetzee added that "three or four" players formed part of his leadership group and that his captain for the Ireland series would be one of those players.
The appointment would also be short-term, with just the Ireland series in mind.
"Just to take you back to April 12 when I was appointed I
said that I would like to make sure that our captain of the national side
should be there to make sure that we win Test matches," said Coetzee.
"To be naming him without
making sure that he understands my philosophy would be too early for me.
meeting the players tomorrow (Sunday) and I’ve got three or four in my leadership group.
The captain will come from the leadership group."
Front-runners for the captaincy at the moment are Adriaan Strauss, Patrick Lambie and Warren Whiteley.
Forwards (17): Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Scarra Ntubeni (Stormers), Jaco Kriel, Julian Redelinghuys, Warren Whiteley (Lions), Trevor Nyakane, Adriaan Strauss (Bulls), Lood de Jager (Cheetahs), Steven Kitshoff (Bordeaux/FRA), Francois Louw (Bath/ENG), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Duane Vermeulen (Toulon/FRA)
Backs (14): Garth April, Patrick Lambie, Lwazi Mvovo, JP Pietersen, Wille le Roux (Sharks), Ruan Combrinck, Faf de Klerk, Elton Jantjies, Lionel Mapoe (Lions), Jesse Kriel, Rudy Paige, Jan Serfontein (Bulls), Damian de Allende, Nic Groom (Stormers)