Springbok coach Allister Coetzee is slowly but surely preparing for life after Adriaan Strauss.
The Bok captain, 30, and hooker has already announced that he will retire from international rugby at the end of the season.
And while some eyebrows were raised when he was still included as the skipper in the squad for their tour of the UK, Coetzee has his succession plan in place.
With Pat Lambie chosen to lead the Boks against the Barbarians this weekend, it opens the door for No.2s Malcolm Marx and Bongi Mbonambi to get some game time.
It’s still uncertain who will wear the Springboks’ number two jumper in the post-Strauss era.
But with Lambie having been named skipper, it looks like Strauss might miss the game altogether.
Coetzee, though, says he hasn’t thrown away the skipper completely and explains: “Adriaan still plays an important role in the squad, by giving support to Patrick and also helping Bongi Mbonambi and Malcolm Marx with technical detail, and he has bought into my succession plan.
“He understands the bigger picture and he will be back to lead the team again against England at Twickenham next weekend.”
The Baabaas match will serve as a trial match for Marx and Mbonambi, who will fight for a place on the bench against England in two weeks’ time.