Jean de Villiers will captain South Africa in their home series against England, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer announced on Monday. By Jason Humphries (Reuters)
Centre De Villiers, who has 72 caps, has been appointed skipper only for three tests against England which start on June 9 in Durban.
“I have a lot of belief and faith in Jean. He has a lot of integrity, a great work ethic and has the hearts of the players,” Meyer told a news conference.
“He has impressed me with the way he has led a young side in the (Super Rugby franchise) Stormers. I am happy he accepted the captaincy because it is such a big responsibility,” Meyer added.
De Villiers was part of the squad which won the 2007 World Cup but he was injured in South Africa’s opening game of the tournament and played no part in the final. He said being made Springbok captain had made him feel like a youngster just coming into test rugby.
“I made my debut 10 years ago and I feel like a 21-year-old old winning my first cap. It is probably the highlight of my career.
“This job comes with massive pressure. I have had the privilege to play under some great captains. I made my debut under Corner Krige while I also played under John Smit and Victor Matfield. You take what you can learn from those guys and put your own personal touch to it,” he added.
The second test is in Johannesburg on June 16 with the tour wrapping up in Port Elizabeth on June 23. DM
Photo: Jean De Villiers of South Africa’s Springboks is tackled by Sonny Bill Williams (L) and Jerome Kaino of New Zealand’s All Blacks during their Tri-Nations rugby union match in Port Elizabeth, August 20, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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