Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has eventually revealed his hand ahead of the three test series against England and named Jean de Villiers as captain for his first international series.
Meyer said, “Jean’s leadership qualities are well established and he has always impressed me with his leadership on and off the field.”
The Stormers captain was the preferred choice after the injuries to certain star players and the decision by Fourie du Preez to make himself unavailable. Jean de Villiers is vastly experienced and if it was not for injuries at key moments in his career he would also be a World Cup winner and boast several more than 72 test caps.
A solid choice in my opinion, many may feel that a forward would have been a better pick for the captaincy role, but I think at this stage de Villiers is the best choice. He has done a sterling job to guide the Stormers to where they currently find themselves on the Vodacom Super Rugby table, an incredible feat considering the injury woes coach Allister Coetzee is dealing with.
De Villiers is a born leader and someone who is well-liked and respected. “Jean commands respect from everyone in South African rugby and in the short space of time we’ve worked together, Jean has shown that he understands what we want to achieve on the field. He will be surrounded by a core of strong leaders in the squad and we have the utmost faith in them," Meyer added.
It does pose an interesting selection problem for Meyer, will de Villiers play at outside centre and allow Frans Steyn to dominate at inside where he has been so effective? The Stormers captain will more than likely operate at 13 and will handle the pressure despite maybe lacking a yard of pace. He is the man for the job and is humbled to be leading the two-time World Champions. De Villiers said, "This is an honour that is not bestowed upon many people and I really hope I can do my country proud. I do realise there is massive responsibility that comes with this position. The real, hard work only starts now.”