Not surprisingly, many sources claim that not only is Jean De Villiers’ World Cup presence in jeopardy – but so is his playing career.
Jean suffered a horror knee dislocation in the 58th minute of an otherwise forgettable test match against Wales, and after seeing some of the best surgeons in the country, as it stands, the news is not good.
Now I don’t want us to get too ahead of ourselves. I know that I’d like Jean to recover – but if he doesn’t, where does that leave the Springboks leadership wise? Do we instate a seasoned veteran like Victor Matfield or Fourie Du Preez, or do we swear a new leader into office?
The LeftBacks have already put forward some suggestions for the next Bok skipper so let’s not dwell on that for too long. Instead, let’s focus on the matter of selecting either a short term leader versus a long term one.
While a short term solve has obvious benefits in that someone like Victor has led the Boks before, where will that leave us come November next year? It leaves us right here, again. While Victor’s pedigree is undeniable, the man is 37 years old and he does not have another world cup in him. Another man who has been touted as a potential leader in JdV’s absence is Fourie Du Preez. Again, a player of the highest calibre but we can’t expect him to play beyond the England showpiece.
My personal opinion is that we should bring forward the announcement of a new Bok captain and use the elder statesmen in the team as leaders, just not of the team.
We have a crop of ably bodied candidates, like Strauss, Vermeulen or even Pollard, that might not be as experienced as Victor or Du Preez but are more than capable of leading the Boks long term. It’s time for the Springboks to think long term and instate a captain who is the best in his position and could inspire us to glory at the World Cup.
What are your thoughts – Victor Matfield, Fourie Du Preez or someone new? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @leftbacks.