Matfield named interim Bok captain

Matfield will captain the Springboks in the absence of the injured Jean de Villiers.

Springbok veteran Victor Matfield. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South African Rugby Union (SARU) has announced that Victor Matfield will captain the Springboks in the Incoming Series this month in the absence of the injured Jean de Villiers - and he will lead them out for the first time since his return to rugby in Saturday's match against the World XV at Newlands.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer made the announcement in Cape Town on Tuesday. Matfield, who has played 110 Tests for South Africa, last captained the Springboks at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011.

"Victor's appointment as interim captain is something I thought long and hard about and it wasn't an easy decision to make," said Meyer.

"The three candidates we considered, Victor, Bismarck du Plessis and Fourie du Preez, were all very strong options.

"It's only a short-term appointment as Jean will take over as captain again once he's recovered from his injury. Victor was a logical option - he knows the pressure associated with being Springbok captain as he's been there before and he has vast captaincy experience at all levels of the game."

Matfield, who has captained the Springboks in 17 Tests earlier in career, said he was very grateful for the trust shown in him by the national coach.

"I'm here to serve the team and would like to make a positive contribution," said Matfield.

Matfield will captain the Springboks in their four matches in June. The vice-captains will be du Plessis and du Preez.