Johannesburg - Duane Vermeulen has backed the appointment of Siya Kolisi as Springbok captain for the upcoming series against England.
Vermeulen is expected to start at No 8 in Saturday's first Test against England in Johannesburg, while Kolisi will lead the Boks out in the No 6 jersey.
With 39 Tests to his name, Vermeulen was also considered one of the top contenders for the Bok captaincy despite playing his rugby in Toulon in France.
In the end, though, Bok coach Rassie Erasmus opted for Kolisi and it is a decision that Vermeulen backs having spent significant time with Kolisi at the Stormers.
"He was the young guy coming into the Stormers set-up and I knew there was always something special in him," Vermeulen told media in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
"He worked hard as a player and it took him a couple of seasons to become a well-renowned player in the Stormers mix in Currie Cup, Super Rugby and at Springbok level.
"He's a great choice. He's a good leader and I think a lot of guys look up to him.
"I've got a lot of respect for him, on and off the field. He's a really great guy and a guy that can inspire this group of people."
Kolisi will become the first black Test captain of the Springboks.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.