Springboks flank Pieter-Steph du Toit

Springboks flank Pieter-Steph du Toit walks off the field. Image: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

LIST: Every player to have captained the Springboks

Pieter-Steph du Toit was something of a shock selection as Springbok captain for South Africa’s first Test of 2024 against Wales in London.

Springboks flank Pieter-Steph du Toit

Springboks flank Pieter-Steph du Toit walks off the field. Image: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Pieter-Steph du Toit was something of a surprise selection as Springbok skipper for South Africa’s first Test of 2024 against Wales at Twickenham in London on Saturday, 22 June.

Kick-off is at 15:00 (SA time).

Over 60 000 tickets have been sold for the Test. Secure your seats now by clicking here

A surprise in that rugby fans were under the impression that coach Rassie Erasmus wanted a South Africa-based player to lead the Springboks this season – and that’s why he overlooked Siya Kolisi as an option.

Kolisi, who skipped the Springboks to World Cup victory in both 2019 (in Japan) and 2023 (in France), plays his rugby at Racing 92 in France.

However, Du Toit is also not ‘local’ and is currently based in Japan where he plays for Toyota Verblitz.

The Test will be Du Toit’s second as captain.

The 31-year-old loose forward became the 60th Springbok skipper for the one-off clash against Wales in Washington DC in June 2018.

The Springboks lost that match 22-20.

Pieter-Steph decision ‘well deserved’

Commenting on the decision to hand Du Toit the captaincy, Erasmus said it was not only well deserved, but also personal for the player.

“Pieter-Steph has been a key figure in our system for several years now and he’s a player who leads by example on the field,” said Erasmus.

“We have a strong core of senior players in this group, and we had a few options for captain, but we feel Pieter-Steph will be the right man to lead the team this week.

“He has captained the Springboks only once before and that was against Wales in 2018, and after that result, we believe it will make this match even more personal for him. Over and above that, he has immense respect from his teammates and the coaches, and we know he will accept this responsibility with great pride.”

Fast-forward almost exactly six years and Du Toit will have ‘revenge’ on his mind in London this weekend.

To date, the Springboks have had 65 captains stretching back to 1891, including Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus who is No 47 on the list.

A look back at those men who have led the Springboks into action over the past 133 years.

1. H.H. Castens – 1891
2. Bob Snedden – 1891
3. Alf Richards – 1891
4. Ferdie Aston – 1896
5. Fairy Heatlie – 1896
6. Alex Frew – 1903
7. Jackie Powell – 1903
8. Paddy Carolin – 1906
9. Paul Roos – 1906
10. Dougie Morkel – 1910
11. Billy Millar – 1910
12. Uncle Dobbin – 1912
13. T.B Pienaar – 1921
14. Boy Morkel – 1921
15. PK Albertyn – 1924
16. Phil Mostert – 1928
17. Bennie Osler – 1931
18. Phil Nel – 1933
19. Danie Craven – 1937
20. Felix du Plessis – 1949
21. Basil Kenyon – 1949
22. Hennie Muller – 1951
23. Stephen Fry – 1955
24. Basie Viviers – 1956
25. Salty du Rand – 1956
26. Johan Claassen – 1958
27. Des van Jaarsveldt – 1960
28. Roy Dryburgh – 1960
29. Avril Malan – 1960
30. Abie Malan – 1963
31. Nelie Smith – 1964
32. Dawie de Villiers – 1965
33. Tommy Bedford – 1969
34. Hannes Marais – 1971
35. Piet Greyling – 1972
36. Morné du Plessis – 1975
37. Theunis Stofberg – 1980
38. Wynand Claassen – 1981
39. Divan Serfontein – 1984
40. Naas Botha – 1986
41. Jannie Breedt – 1989
42. Francois Pienaar – 1993
43. Tiaan Strauss – 1994
44. Adriaan Richter – 1995
45. Gary Teichmann – 1996
46. Corné Krige – 1999
47. Rassie Erasmus – 1999
48. Joost van der Westhuizen – 1999
49. André Vos – 1999
50. Bobby Skinstad – 2001
51. John Smit – 2003
52. Victor Matfield – 2007
53. Johann Muller – 2007
54. Jean de Villiers – 2012
55. Schalk Burger – 2015
56. Fourie du Preez – 2015
57. Adriaan Strauss – 2016
58. Warren Whiteley -2017
59. Eben Etzebeth – 2017
60. Pieter-Steph du Toit – 2018

Five most recent Springbok captains:

61. Siya Kolisi – 2018

62. Duane Vermeulen – 2019

63. Schalk Brits – 2019

64. Handre Pollard – 2022

65. Bongi Mbonambi – 2023

TEAMS

South Africa

15 Aphelele Fassi (Sharks), 14 Edwill van der Merwe (Lions), 13 Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles), 12 Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins), 11 Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), 10 Jordan Hendrikse (Lions), 9 Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles), 8 Evan Roos (Stormers), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit (captain – Toyota Verblitz), 6 Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs), 5 Franco Mostert (Honda Heat, Japan), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Sharks), 3 Vincent Koch (Sharks), 2 Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears), 1 Ox Nche (Sharks)

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi (Sharks), 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu (Sharks), 18 Frans Malherbe (Stormers), 19 Salmaan Moerat (Stormers), 20 Ben-Jason Dixon (Stormers), 21 Grant Williams (Sharks), 22 Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (Stormers), 23 Damian de Allende (Wild Knights)

Wales

15 Cameron Winnett, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Mason Grady, 11 Rio Dyer, 10 Sam Costelow, 9 Ellis Bevan; 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 James Botham, 6 Taine Plumtree, 5 Ben Carter, 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Kieron Assiratti, 2 Dewi Lake (captain), 1 Gareth Thomas

Substitutes: 16 Evan Lloyd, 17 Kemsley Mathias, 18 Harri O’Connor, 19 James Ratti, 20 Mackenzie Martin, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Eddie James, 23 Jacob Beetham

MATCHDAY INFORMATION

Date: Saturday, June 22
Venue: Twickenham, London
Kick-off: 15:00 (SA time)
Referee: Chris Busby (IRFU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christophe Ridley (RFU)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Leal (RFU)
TMO: Mark Patton (IRFU)