Warren Whiteley named Springbok captain for 2017

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2017-05-16
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2017-05-23
Jody Hendricks and Warren Whiteley, Just Jody

Jody Hendricks and Warren Whiteley, Just Jody

Warren Whiteley has been named the 58th Springbok captain and will get his first opportunity to lead the team when a much-changed squad, which includes eight uncapped players, gets together for Castle Lager Incoming Series against France.

The national selectors also recalled six experienced players to the squad. They are Rugby World Cup winner Frans Steyn, Jan Serfontein, Francois Hougaard, Duane Vermeulen, Coenie Oosthuizen and Chiliboy Ralepelle. They have more than 200 Test caps of experience between them.

Of the eight uncapped players in the squad, six are backs and two play in the forwards. They are Lukhanyo Am, Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronje, Dillyn Leyds, Raymond Rhule, Courtnall Skosan, Ruan Dreyer and Lizo Gqoboka.

Four of these, Rhule, Cronje, Dreyer and Gqoboka have previously toured with the Boks, but are yet to play in a Test match for South Africa.

Jody Hendricks with Allister Coetzee

Jody Hendricks with Allister Coetzee

“Warren has been one of the outstanding leaders in South African rugby for many years,” said Coetzee.

“He is respected by his team-mates and opposition alike and has a lot of experience when it comes to captaincy, having led the Emirates Lions with great authority for many seasons. He is resilient, copes well under pressure and makes good decisions.

“The national selectors have rewarded form and we are looking forward to face the French team next month. I am confident the players will do the jersey and our country proud.

“A Lot of hard work has been done since the start of the season to make sure we improve as a team. The collaboration and spirit showed at the various Indabas and other gatherings are proof that we are moving in the right direction.

“The three preseason training camps gave us the chance to have a close look at a number of players, especially those who haven’t been involved with the Springboks previously. We were also kept abreast of the form and the progress of the overseas-based group of players,” added Coetzee.