Salmaan Moerat and Ernst van Rhyn have been appointed co-captains of the Stormers for their upcoming European United Rugby Championship tour.
With regular Stormers captain Steven Kitshoff away on Springbok duty, Moerat and Van Rhyn will share the captaincy responsibilities on a tour which will see the Stormers take on Benetton Treviso, Munster, Edinburgh and the Dragons over the next month.
Both players have significant leadership experience as former SA Schools and Junior Springbok captains.
Van Rhyn captained Western Province in the recent Currie Cup and led the Stormers against the British and Irish Lions, while Moerat has recently recovered from a neck injury, having been named as Kitshoff’s vice-captain earlier in the year.
Moerat and Van Rhyn were named in a 33-man Stormers squad, which will leave for Italy on Saturday.
Coach John Dobson said that Moerat and Van Rhyn are both natural leaders who will be able to get the best out of the group on tour.
“Salmaan and Ernst are both very comfortable in the captaincy role, having both done the job for just about every team they have played in, so it made sense to let them share the workload on this tour,” said Dobson.
“We know that this will be a challenging tour, but it is something we as a group are embracing as we embark on a new journey in the United Rugby Championship.
“We have brought some quality players into the mix and they are all keen to make their mark in the Stormers jersey,” he said.
Stormers touring squad
Forwards: Justin Basson, Dian Bleuler, Kwenzo Blose, Willie Engelbrecht, Neethling Fouche, Deon Fourie, Brok Harris, JJ Kotze, Leon Lyons, Salmaan Moerat (co-captain), Scarra Ntubeni, Junior Pokomela, Evan Roos, Sazi Sandi, Adre Smith, Marcel Theunissen, Ernst van Rhyn (co-captain), Andre-Hugo Venter, Nama Xaba.
Backs: Juan de Jongh, Paul de Wet, Dan du Plessis, Warrick Gelant, Tristan Leyds, Manie Libbok, Godlen Masimla, Ruhan Nel, Sergeal Petersen, Rikus Pretorius, Tim Swiel, Stefan Ungerer, Edwill van der Merwe, Leolin Zas