England’s Tom Curry (right) and South Africa’s Bongi Mbonambi (left). Photo: BackpagePix

Who will lead the Springboks? Top contenders for Wales Test unveiled!

Rassie Erasmus shortlists Mbonambi, Etzebeth, and Du Toit as Springbok captain candidates for Wales Test amid Kolisi’s uncertainty.


England’s Tom Curry (right) and South Africa’s Bongi Mbonambi (left). Photo: BackpagePix

Rassie Erasmus, the Springbok coach, has shortlisted three players as potential captains for the upcoming Test against Wales on 22 June at Twickenham in London. According to Rapport’s information, Bongi Mbonambi, Eben Etzebeth, and Pieter-Steph du Toit are the candidates Erasmus is considering for the captaincy role.

The Test falls outside World Rugby’s window and clashes with the United Rugby Championship final. As a result, current Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and vice-captain Handré Pollard will be unavailable due to their commitments with their respective French and English club teams.

Erasmus Seeks Experienced Springbok to Lead the Team

Erasmus wants to entrust a player who has previously played for the Springboks with the captaincy for this Test. Etzebeth, a 32-year-old veteran with 119 Test caps, has led the Springboks in 13 matches since his debut in 2012. Mbonambi, 33, has captained the team twice in his 68 Test appearances.

In the documentary Chasing the Sun 2, Erasmus appeared impressed with Mbonambi’s captaincy when he led the Springboks at the World Cup in France during Kolisi’s absence.

However, if Mbonambi takes over the captaincy and Kolisi remains unselected, Erasmus will have to play the Springboks’ other star hooker, Malcolm Marx, off the bench later this year.

Du Toit’s Captaincy Experience and Recent Form

Du Toit, 31, is another strong contender for the captaincy. He has played 76 Tests for South Africa and captained the team once before against Wales in 2018 in Washington, DC.

It was Erasmus’ first Test as Springbok coach, and the team travelled to America with second-choice players while the preferred players stayed home to prepare for an important series against England.

Du Toit’s recent form at the World Cup last year, where he played some of the best rugby of his career, further strengthens his case for the captaincy role.

Kolisi’s Future as Springbok Captain Remains Uncertain

Despite Erasmus’ opposition to the Springbok captain playing his rugby overseas, he would like to retain Kolisi as captain for at least this year. However, Erasmus wants assurances from Racing 92 that Kolisi will be released in time for all the training camps and Tests.

The South African Rugby Union (Saru) has no plans to buy Kolisi, 32, out of his contract with Racing. “Saru can’t afford it,” a source told Rapport.

Several top rugby administrators believe it would have been better for the Springboks and Kolisi if he had continued to play his rugby in South Africa, given his unifying power for the country and his value off the field, worth millions of rands to South Africa.

Erasmus will have all his players, including Kolisi, available for the first Test against Ireland at Loftus Versfeld on 6 July.