Stormers ditch Super Rugby co-captaincy
Cape Town - The Stormers will ditch the co-captaincy policy they employed during Super Rugby 2016.
One man will lead the side in the 2017 edition of the tournament, and while that player has already been identified by coach Robbie Fleck, he will only be announced on Tuesday.
Last season, Fleck announced tighthead prop Frans Malherbe and centre Juan de Jongh as co-captains in a surprising move that never really gathered any momentum as first Malherbe was injured and then De Jongh was lost to the Blitzboks.
This year, though, Fleck will opting for a more traditional approach.
“The captains have been appointed. It still needs to be
announced to the team so we’ll do that on Tuesday and then send you guys a
"There will be a captain and a vice-captain ... no co-captaincy," Fleck confirmed.
"I did it last year because I thought it was a young
leadership and I thought it was important that we built the team around the co-captaincy.
"But chatting to several senior players in the group they felt that it was
important that there was one figure-head and a very strong vice-captain."
De Jongh would have been a front-runner for the position, but his knee injury looks set to keep him out for much of the year.
Fleck said that Malherbe would still be "in the mix" when discussing his leadership group, suggesting that he will not be named full time captain.
That leaves the likes of Siya Kolisi and Eben Etzebeth as front-runners.
"It was a difficult process but a good one to go through," Fleck said of selecting his skipper.
Of course, the Capetonians are also without the leadership of Schalk Burger, who had to captain the side last year in his final season at Newlands when both malherbe and De Jongh were unavailable.
"He came through quite strong in terms of the leadership
last year," Fleck said of Burger.
"Obviously his leadership will be missing, but these two individuals
sitting next to me (Kolisi and Etzeneth) have certainly stepped up. I feel that there is enough
leadership now to go forward."
The Stormers play their first Super Rugby match of the season on Saturday when they host the Bulls.