Springbok veteran Victor Matfield should know by Thursday what coach Peter de Villiers has in store for him, when the Springbok team for the second Test against Wales is announced.
Rugby 365 reports that Matfield is the obvious choice to captain the Boks in the Test against Italy, when John Smit will be in France to play for his club French club Clermont.
But if De Villiers overlooks Matfield for Saturday’s starting line-up it is hardly likely that he will be appointed skipper for the next outing a week later.
Matfield captained the Springboks last year and also led the Bulls to the Super 14 title. The other two captaincy candidates are Cheetahs captain Juan Smith and Jean de Villiers of the Stormers.
According to Springbok communication manager Chris Hewitt, Smit – who missed Monday’s training session – will be fit for the Wales Test, as will the other injured players, such as Butch James, CJ can der Linde, Brian Mujati, Danie Rossouw and Tonderai Chavhanga.
Wing Chavangha is still being nursed very carefully after a bump on the same hamstring that saw him miss the last part of the Super 14 competition, but Hewitt is adamant that he will play.
With JP Pietersen now officially part of the Bok squad, he might just get a look-in, albeit from the bench.
De Villiers has indicated that he wants to keep the winning side in the first Test together as far as is possible in order to build for the Tri-Nations. He should therefore not look much further than replacing Mujati with CJ van der Linde.
Even Bolla Conradie, who filled in for the suspended Ricky Januarie in the first Test, after a good performance behind the scrum nay well be retained.
Meanwhile it seems certain that another disappointing crowd will greet the two teams at Loftus on Saturday.
This follows a very poor turnout of around 22,000 spectators in Bloemfontein for the first Test.Tweet