Bulls turn to Spies for captaincy
November 16, 2011
Spies provides a physical presence in the Bulls back-row © Getty Images
The Bulls have appointed Springboks No.8 Pierre Spies as their new captain for the 2012 Super Rugby season.
Spies replaces outgoing skipper Victor Matfield and will have Wynand Olivier as his vice-captain. Spies has 47 caps for the South African national side and was a key part of their 2011 World Cup squad. And the 26-year-old admits the captaincy was a position he has eyed since Matfield opted to leave Loftus Versveld.
"It was not such a big surprise though, as I had it in the back of my mind that I could be asked to lead the team when Victor retired," Spies said. "I was privileged in my career at the Bulls and the Springboks to play with great captains and I could certainly learn a lot from them.
"I would like to try and do that. I believe a captain should lead from the front and I hope that will be something that I can do successfully.There are huge challenges ahead, but we are all looking forward to that. This group is younger than in previous years, but we have the same goals as those squads and that is to win the competition."
Olivier, who took on the vice-captaincy during the Currie Cup, is relishing the new role. "I like that responsibility. Anyone who wants to write off the Bulls because we lost players, do so at their own peril," he said. "I think we have a squad that can with the competition again. There are new faces, so there will be a challenge to make sure all share the same vision, but I see no problems in that.
"We have a great management team and coaching staff and they will get everyone to pull in the same direction."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales were just 13 minutes from a famous victory, but the lessons to be learned in defeat are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic
England must find a way to improve their game by tiny margins and they will get there, writes Phil Vickery