Cape Town - Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has appointed Juan de Jongh and
Frans Malherbe as co-captains for the 2016 Super Rugby season.
De Jongh has 84 Super Rugby caps for the Stormers and is no
stranger to the captaincy role, having led Western Province to the Currie Cup
title in 2014, while powerful tighthead prop Malherbe has long been earmarked
as a leader within the squad.
The experienced De Jongh will lead the team out onto the
pitch and have the final say in on-field decisions, but will share the
captaincy duties with Malherbe both on and off the field.
Fleck said that the move to co-captaincy is an extension of
the collective leadership that has driven the pre-season preparations.
“We have a young squad and we want to strengthen the
leadership within the group. I wanted a strong leader in the pack and in the
backline, so with them sharing the workload it makes things easier.
“Juan has developed into a great leader who has proven
himself at Currie Cup level, and Frans is a natural leader which he has shown
since age-group level,” he said.
The Stormers coach explained that both players bring
something different to the leadership role, and will also be able to rely on
the wider leadership group for support.
“We have two strong, talented leaders who complement each
other well, they are different characters, but both add massive value to the
team environment and personify our diverse team culture.
“They have a strong wider leadership group around them, and
I am confident that if either of them is not available for any reason we are
well covered in that department,” Fleck added.
The Stormers open their Super Rugby campaign at home against the Bulls on Saturday, February 27.