Du Preez captains Springboks against Scotland

Fourie du Preez has been named Springbok captain

South Africa head coach Heyneke Meyer has named Fourie du Preez to captain the Springboks against Scotland in Newcastle in the Rugby World cup.

Victor Matfield was largely expected to replace the retired Jean de Villers for this match but he was not considered for selection due to injury.

Du Preez will become the Springboks’ 56th Test captain in this weekend’s must win Pool B clash after making a big impact upon his return in the match against Samoa.

Schalk Burger is the vice-captain.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer made only three changes to the starting line-up for Saturday’s match – two of them injury-enforced.

Jesse Kriel will link up again with Damian De Allende in the midfield, in the place of De Villiers, while Lood de Jager takes over from Matfield at lock.

The third change is a rotational switch at hooker, where Bismarck du Plessis returns in the place of Adriaan Strauss, who will move to the bench. Also amongst the replacements are Pieter-Steph du Toit, Willem Alberts and Jan Serfontein, who provides cover as both centres picked up injuries last week.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said that losing two experienced captains in one week had been a severe blow but that the squad included a number of highly capable deputies.

“Fourie has been one of the best scrumhalves in world rugby for a long time, but he also understands the game better than most players and is a tactical genius,” said Meyer. “He will know exactly what is needed on Saturday when we continue our fight to keep our World Cup dream alive.

“Schalk stood in on the last occasion that Jean and Victor were both absent earlier this season before Fourie had returned to fitness. They are both great leaders who go about their work in contrasting ways and I think they will work extremely well in tandem.

“They are hugely experienced and they know what it will take to win this very important match against a great Scottish side.”

Meyer said his team would have to build on their victory over Samoa on Saturday in order to stay in the hunt for a play-off spot at the Rugby World Cup.

“The performance against Samoa was much better, but Scotland have been impressive in their victories over Japan and the USA.

“We know in which areas we have to improve and we will have to fire at 100% on Saturday against a motivated Scotland side. The injuries have not been ideal, but we can’t do anything about that and the players selected will have to perform once again this weekend.”

De Villiers has already returned to South Africa and had successful surgery on his jaw.

South Africa

15. Willie le Roux , 14. JP Pietersen , 13. Jesse Kriel , 12. Damian De Allende , 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Handre Pollard , 9. Fourie du Preez (c), 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Schalk Burger, 6. Francois Louw , 5. Lood de Jager , 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis , 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16. Adriaan Strauss, 17. Trevor Nyakane , 18. Frans Malherbe, 19. Pieter-Steph du Toit , 20. Willem Alberts , 21. Ruan Pienaar , 22. Pat Lambie , 23. Jan Serfontein ,

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