Flip van der Merwe

Flip van der Merwe

Springbok lock Flip van der Merwe says there is enough leadership in the team to fill the void left by Jean de Villiers.

The Springbok captain suffered a horrific knee injury in last Saturday’s Test against Wales in Cardiff. He faces an extended period on the sidelines and could even miss next year’s Rugby World Cup in England and Wales.

While losing De Villiers would be a big blow, Van der Merwe feels there are enough leaders in the squad for coach Heyneke Meyer to call on.

“It’s one of Heyneke’s big success stories during his time as coach. He concentrated on establishing a leadership group. of which Jean merely acts as manager,” Van der Merwe says.

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Alistair Hargreaves

Alistair Hargreaves

Alistair Hargreaves has been appointed as the new Saracens captain. The Springbok lock forward, 28, succeeds Steve Borthwick, who retired at the end of last season.

The former Sharks man has been with the Saracens since 2012, born and schooled in Durban he played for the Sharks from under-19 level.

He has been capped four times for the Springboks, the last of those coming in the 2011 Tri-Nations tournament.

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Graham Kitchener

Graham Kitchener

EnglandEngland have named their team to play the Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday with Graham Kitchener captaining the team.

Leicester Tigers second row Kitchener will captain the England selection which includes players from seven Premiership sides.

Twenty-one-year-old Exeter Chiefs fly half Henry Slade has been named a the vice captain of the team.

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Heyneke Meyer emotional and animated in the game between Wallabies vs Springboks, The Rugby Championship, Brisbane, 7 September 013

Heyneke Meyer emotional and animated in the game between Wallabies vs Springboks, The Rugby Championship, Brisbane, 7 September 2013

The June Internationals are close at hand and Heyneke Meyer has already showed his hand to a certain extent by selecting a Springbok Training Group, which currently excludes players plying their trade in the UK and Europe.

The recent injury to Springbok captain, Jean de Villiers, now determines that a  “Stand-in” Springbok captain will have to be selected and coupled to this the Springbok midfield positions are bound to be re-constituted.

Injuries to key players, specially flyhalf, as well as the 3-match suspension of Adriaan Strauss at hooker will see some juggling around of the match-day 23 and some very clear thinking will be required by Heyneke Meyer to address these issues.

We take a look at the Springbok Captaincy candidates as well as midfield combination and look at hooker options to function as back-up to Bismarck du Plessis.

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Cell C SharksBismarck du PlessisCell C Sharks Director of Rugby, Jake White, on Thursday announced that Springbok hooker, Bismarck du Plessis, will captain the Cell C Sharks in 2014.

Regarded as one of the best hookers in the world, Bismarck has been colossal figure for the Cell C Sharks over the years. With 103 Vodacom Super Rugby appearances to his name, he is a player who leads by example and is well respected by the team.

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Quade CooperQuade Cooper’s remarkable return could culminate with him becoming the next Wallaby captain after Ben Mowen’s shock decision to quit Australian rugby.

Mowen on Thursday announced that he’ll join the French exodus at the end of the year, seemingly leaving vice-captain Cooper next in line to lead Australia.

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Ben MowenAustralia’s Rugby Championship campaign is being threatened by a pay row involving one of the key players in the team.

Media reports suggest Ben Mowen is considering walking out over a payment dispute with the Australian Rugby Union – just a fortnight after captaining the team against Argentina.

The 28-year-old is understood to be frustrated because he’s not receiving a top-up contract from the ARU, despite being a regular starter for the Wallabies.

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Sharks coach John Plumtree has made it public knowledge that he will select his captain for the season next week sometime, and this got me thinking as to who the candidates could be. My 2 minute self debate ended quite simply with another year under Keegan Daniel. But then I had a few beers with a good mate of mine, and this is what we decided would be best for the Black and White.

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Reds (6) 18 / Crusaders (7) 13 (Final Score)

The Reds hosted the Crusaders in the Final of Super Rugby 2011 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 Brisbane Time). This was the match thread for discussion of the game. The match was broadcast live on SuperSport 1, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.

In a truly super Super Rugby Final, the Reds emerge as worthy champions.

What a tournament we’ve had!!

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