Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says current captain Siya Kolisi is a strong contender to lead the team at next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Kolisi was made captain before the three-Test series against England in June and was again given the honour ahead of the Rugby Championship.
There were other candidates like Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whitley and Eben Etzebeth but injuries and availability saw the pendulum swung in Kolisi’s favour.
After naming his team for Saturday’s Test against Australia in Port Elizabeth, Erasmus said he is yet to name a captain for next year’s World Cup but noted that Kolisi would be a strong contender.
“We can’t make that (captaincy) call right now," Erasmus said, as quoted by SA Rugbymag. “You know, I could make that call now and then I’m not even there as coach next year. Look at how I was under the pump two weeks ago.
“Let’s take it week-by-week for now. Next year, going into the Rugby Championship, we should know who our captain is. But hell, going by what he’s done thus far, Siya is a strong contender. He’s been very impressive.”
Kolisi, who became the first black Springbok captain in Test rugby, led the team to a 2-1 series win over England.
In the Rugby Championship, the Boks have won two and lost two but are on a high having beaten the All Blacks in their last encounter in Wellington.
Saturday's Test at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is scheduled for 17:05.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Adam Coleman, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Folau Faingaa, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Rob Simmons, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Bernard Foley, 23 Jack Maddocks