Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has confirmed that Eben Etzebeth will retain the captaincy of the national side on the Outgoing Tour to the Northern Hemisphere in November and December.
Etzebeth will again lead the side in the continued injury absence of No 8 Warren Whiteley, who has been ruled out of the tour to Ireland, France, Italy and Wales and is expected to be out of action for two more months as a result of his groin injury.
The No 4 lock took over the leadership duties at the end of June when Whiteley was forced to withdraw on the eve of the third Test against France in Johannesburg. Etzebeth has subsequently led the Springboks in all six Castle Lager Rugby Championship Test matches.
Coetzee said Etzebeth has been impressive in the new leadership role so far this season: “Eben has really taken to his role as captain of the Springboks and it makes sense to retain him. I know he is well respected by talking to opposition coaches and referees, and he enjoys the respect of his peers.”
Coetzee also added that Etzebeth is supported by a strong leadership group.
“With Eben at the helm for the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour, we are looking forward to continue our process of building continuity, cohesion and experience within this team as we also start to build towards the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan,” according to Coetzee.
Meanwhile, it was confirmed on Thursday that the contracted group and identified Springboks will assemble in Stellenbosch from Monday, 23 October for a four-day training, assessment and conditioning camp in preparation of the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour.
The Springbok squad for the end of year tour will be confirmed on Sunday, 29 October – the day after the Currie Cup final – and the squad will assemble in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 31 October.
South Africa’s opponents during their month-long European tour are Ireland (11 November, Dublin), France (18 November, Paris), Italy (25 November, Padova) and Wales (2 December, Cardiff).