Jean De Villiers named Springboks captain
June 4, 2012
Jean De Villiers will lead South Africa in their three-Test series at home to England © PA Photos
Jean De Villiers has been named as South Africa captain for their upcoming series against England that begins on June 9.
The Stormers centre has won 72 caps for the Springboks and played for them in last year's World Cup. He made his debut against France in Marseilles in 2002 and has since scored 19 Test tries. The 31-year-old is the second most experienced player in the squad behind Bryan Habana who has 74 caps.
"My heart was in my throat when Heyneke told me about his decision on Sunday evening," De Villiers said. "This is an honour that is not bestowed upon many people and I really hope I can do my country proud. I do realise there is massive responsibility that comes with this position. The real, hard work only starts now."
De Villiers is only the third person to captain South Africa since 2003. John Smit, Victor Matfield and Johann Muller are the only other players to have held the honour in that time.
He was named South Africa player of the year in 2008 and South Africa head coach Heyneke Meyer said he had no hesitation in giving De Villiers the captaincy.
"Jean's leadership qualities are well established and he has always impressed me with his leadership on and off the field," Meyer said. "I've also been impressed by the way he's led a young and inexperienced Stormers team in Super Rugby this year. Jean commands respect from everyone in South African rugby and in the short space of time we've worked together, Jean has shown that he understands what we want to achieve on the field. He will be surrounded by a core of strong leaders in the squad and we have the utmost faith in them."
South Africa play England on June 9 in Durban, June 16 in Johannesburg and June 23 in Port Elizabeth.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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