Fourie du Preez (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Fourie du Preez won’t be the most talkative Springbok captain ever, but he hopes to leave an impression on his team-mates by the way he goes about his business on the field of play.
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Fourie du Preez is the 56th Springbok skipper. But who were 1 to 55?
The 33-year-old scrumhalf, who was once dubbed 'silent assassin' in a magazine interview, will become the 56th Springbok captain when they face Scotland in a Rugby World Cup clash in Newcastle on Saturday.
“It’s a massive honour and privilege for me being asked to be captain,” he said at a press conference in Newcastle on Wednesday.
Du Preez is not your stereotypical Springbok captain. He is introverted and soft spoken, but has the respect of his team-mates.
He will also look to draw from fellow senior players like Schalk Burger and Duane Vermeulen to help him in his task.
“I’m very happy that guys like Schalk and Duane are very good friends of mine. I’m sure they’ll back me so I can do it with them.
“I’m not going to be a big motivational speaker, but hopefully I can lead the guys from the front and I’m sure they’ll follow me.
“Hopefully the way I play and the way the guys play for the team and for the Boks show what leader I am.”
Du Preez played 73 minutes of last weekend’s 46-6 win over Samoa in Birmingham after making his return to action following a long layoff against Japan the previous week.
He injured his ribs against Samoa, but assured that he will be raring to go this weekend.
“The plan had originally been to start this week or next, but I had to (advance it). The rib problem I got (in Birmingham) is fine, 100 percent, and it is nice to know now that after doing 73 minutes I could have gone also 80 at Villa Park. I’m happy with that fact as well.”
Saturday’s clash at St James’ Park - the home of English football side Newcastle United - is scheduled for 17:45 (SA time).
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez (captain), 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein
15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Richie Vernon, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 David Denton, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 WP Nel, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid
Substitutes: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Sean Lamont