That’s it. If I ever needed confirmation that Duane Vermeulen shouldn’t captain the Springboks in the future, this is it.
Vermeulen, 30, het nou klaar lekker sy bek uitgespoel oor die Bokke and now he is unavailable to the national team for their tour to the UK – where he would’ve been a useful weapon.
Once touted as a Springbok captain, I think SA Rugby should draw the line under Vermeulen and look for
alternatives at the back of the scrum.
So if we can scrap Vermeulen as a possible successor to Adriaan Strauss as Bok captain, who do we have left?
It’s a question that doesn’t have an answer at the moment, with coach Allister Coetzee even naming Strauss as captain of the team that will play the Barbarians in their first match of the tour.
I really don’t understand why this is the case.
It would have been the perfect opportunity to blood a new skipper on tour and have all the big boys around him as well.
Strauss retires at the end of the season and it doesn’t look like Coetzee has a
succession plan in place.
Warren Whiteley was my early favourite for the job.
But he didn’t really put up his hand during the Rugby Championship.
With Vermeulen out of the picture, Whiteley is perhaps now the number one No.8 and that will count in his favour.
The Springbok captain has to be the first choice in his position.
Then there is Oupa Mohoje, who captained the SA A side against the England Saxons.
Oupa is a solid player, but you get the feeling that when Siya Kolisi returns from injury, he will take the No.7 jumper.
Pat Lambie is also a
franchise leader at the Sharks and will be taken into consideration.
He is among the more experienced heads in the squad and should also be one of the regular starters.
You get the feeling, though, that when Handre Pollard returns from injury, he will be the first-choice pivot.
And having captained South Africa at junior level, Pollard has also been groomed as a future Bok leader.
Still only 22 and having missed the entire year because of a knee injury, making Pollard captain will be a gamble, but it looks like a gamble Coetzee should take.
If the Springboks want the sort of continuity associated with the All Blacks, then having Pollard as skipper for the next two World Cups might just give them that.
Other candidates include a Coetzee favourite in Juan de Jongh, who is not one of the best centres in the country, and his Stormers co-captain Frans Malherbe.
If those are the options given to me, I’d still go with the Whiteley-Pollard
combination in the post-Strauss era.