Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
12 Feb 2018
7:57 am

It would be ‘stupid’ to change the Springbok captaincy

Rudolph Jacobs

Strong words from Saru president Mark Alexander, who seems keen on Warren Whiteley continuing in the role in 2018.

Warren Whiteley. Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images.

It would be “stupid” to change the leadership within the Springbok team this year, according to SA Rugby Union (Saru) president Mark Alexander.

The new Bok coach should therefore stick with fit-again No 8 Warren Whiteley as skipper, with lock Eben Etzebeth and loose forwards Siya Kolisi and Duane Vermeulen forming part of the sound leadership core.

nd while the coach will be confirmed only later this month, Alexander did not want to speculate whether Saru director of rugby Rassie Erasmus would be appointed – as was widely expected – or another candidate.

He felt, however, that Erasmus had already ensured everything was in place for the three-Test series against England in June.

“That’s the role of the coach – the captaincy – and he could look for continuity or choose a new leader,” Alexander said.

“But I think it will be stupid to change the leadership of the side.”

Everything possible was being done, Alexander said, to ensure the quality improved at Bok level.

“We definitely want the team to do better and we’ll do everything in our power to ensure that.

“We have a young team and one must remember, in 2015 about 24 players retired or went overseas, and five of them were captains.

“So we had to get new leadership, and 2019 is the pinnacle, but I know we’ll do better this year.”

Alexander believed Erasmus’ frequent visits to the Super Rugby franchises was a step in the right direction, and he was currently overseas, talking to the leading foreign-based Bok players.

“It’s all about consistency and cooperation and Rassie will go to the provinces to establish a sound working relationship,” he said.