Matfield to lead Springboks
Bulls lock named skipper for Grand Slam tour
Last Updated: October 22, 2010 4:28pm
Matfield: Captaincy role
South Africa coach Peter de Villiers has appointed Victor Matfield as captain for the forthcoming Grand Slam tour, which starts in Dublin next month.
The Bulls lock, who has more than 100 caps for the Springboks, will lead the side in the absence of John Smit, who has been ruled out of the tour after undergoing surgery to correct a chronic cervical disc.
Boss de Villiers assembled with his preliminary training squad in Johannesburg on Friday ahead of the trip that starts with a match against Ireland on November 6 and also includes Tests against Wales, Scotland, England and the Barbarians at Twickenham.
"With John Smit being injured and unavailable for such a challenging and important tour we obviously needed Victor's leadership qualities," De Villiers said.
"He has filled the role in the past with distinction and has led the Vodacom Bulls and Blue Bulls to a string of titles and has been Springbok vice-captain for a number of years.
"We're aware of his workload this season and we'll manage him accordingly."
Cheetahs skipper Juan Smith, who has 65 international caps, has been named as vice-captain.
Seven players - forwards Danie Rossouw, Jannie du Plessis, Alistair Hargreaves, Willem Alberts, Bismarck du Plessis and Schalk Burger along with midfielder Juan de Jongh - missed the opening training session due to injury niggles.
The world champions have been beset by injuries in the build-up with JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie, Wynand Olivier, Smit, Gurthro Steenkamp, Gary Botha, Fourie du Preez, Andries Bekker and Heinrich Brussow all ruled out.