Rassie: Bok captaincy isn't a big thing

Rassie Erasmus has named his candidates to lead the Springboks against Wales next week, with Siya Kolisi in contention to reclaim the armband versus Ireland in July.

Kolisi is unavailable for the opening Test of the year for the world champions at Twickenham next Saturday, as it falls outside the official Test window and his French club Racing 92 are not obligated to release him for international duty.

Subject to fitness, the 32-year-old loose forward is set to feature in the back-to-back clashes against the Irish in the Republic on 6 and 13 July, in Pretoria and Durban respectively.

He joined Racing after last year's World Cup triumph and expects to relinquish the Bok captaincy as he is based abroad, yet with one eye on Australia 2027, the former DHL Stormers and Sharks skipper hopes share in the glory of a possible three-peat Down Under.

Fellow two-time World Cup winners Eben Etzebeth, Bongi Mbonambi and Pieter-Steph du Toit have emerged as the front-runners to captain the Boks in London, and speaking in a Pretoria press conference on Thursday, Erasmus addressed the leadership issue.

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“To be honest with you, inside the team, the captaincy is not such a big thing,” he was quoted by the media.

The matchday squad for the Wales Test will be announced on Tuesday.

“Obviously, a long-term permanent captain is something. We’re going into this Wales Test without Siya and without seeing how Siya is going to come back from France. We’ll need to assess him and see how he slots into things. We have two weeks after the Wales Test match.

“It will probably be Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben or Bongi, but then we might want to start Malcom ([Marx] to manage his game time.

“The guys are all leading really well – the core of the group that has been with us for four years. They understand that there are youngsters around them. We’ll make that call on Sunday night internally and then we’ll announce the captain for Wales.

“Then, when we announce the Irish squad, we’ll announce a captain and obviously a guy like Siya will be in the running if everything goes well and he is injury free.”

Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

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