Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
18 Aug 2017
4:47 pm

It’s all a bit intimidating, says Eben Etzebeth

Rudolph Jacobs

He's known as an enforcer on the field who doesn't stand back for anything. But the Springboks skipper admits he's nervous for his new role.

Eben Etzebeth: Is that the smile of a nervous Springboks skipper? Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images.

Springbok skipper Eben Etzebeth admitted on Friday at being slightly overawed over having to conduct his first captain’s conference ahead of the Rugby Championship clash against Argentina on Saturday.

The previous time he captained the national side it was an eleventh hour call after Warren Whiteley pulled out of the third French Test with a groin injury.

Also read: Allister Coetzee on the Springboks’ talking points

“It’s a little bit intimidating, something I haven’t faced before,” Etzebeth said.

“But it’s quite nice and a privilege to be sitting here. I’m excited to lead the Springboks,” he said.

Etzebeth is under no illusion that his role has changed quite a bit now but at least he could prepare himself because he knew in advance that he would installed as leader.

“There’s a little more responsibility during the week with the training sessions. I’m taking a little bit more control with Elton (Jantjies) and Siya (Kolisi),” he said.

“The last time I didn’t know long before the match. It’s much different knowing this Saturday I will be captain,” he said.

Etzebeth has been described by coach Allister Coetzee as a no-nonsense skipper, but the big lock said he would like to inspire his team.

“I’m not the captain who speaks the most but hopefully lead by my actions. Luckily I have Elton there at the back who is pretty vocal,” he said.

“But we’ll see on Saturday. It’s still something new to me, but I can’t wait for it.”

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