Vermeulen: It's an honour for me to lead the Boks vs All Blacks

Duane Vermeulen is the 62nd Springbok captain, taking over the armband from Eben Etzebeth.

FILE: Duane Vermeulen. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

WELLINGTON - On Saturday morning two of the biggest rivals in world rugby clash as the All Blacks host the Springboks in Wellington.

Duane Vermeulen will captain the side in Siya Kolisis's absence.

Kwagga Smith will fill in for Kolisi at flank for just his second start in the green and gold.

Faf de Klerk starts at scrumhalf, with Herschel Jantjies providing cover on the bench.

Vermeulen himself becomes the 62nd Springbok captain, taking over the armband from Eben Etzebeth and will lead the team for the first time.

Vermeulen said he knew the responsibility of leading the side.

“Only a few players have had the honour of captaining the Springboks in the history of our game, so it is an unbelievable honour for me. Obviously there will be a lot emotion during the game, but it’s controlled emotion.”

The match which will be played at a sold-out Westpac stadium with a capacity crowd of 35,600 expected to pack into the ‘Cake Tin’.

Vermeulen said there were many other leaders in the team to help guide him and he was under no illusion about how what they could expect.

“My role in the team still stays the same and we have a big leadership group, which is good for the team. On match days there’s a couple of us who talk on the field. I think tomorrow will be a massive game with both sides ready to have a good go at each other,” he said.

The last time the two sides met in Wellington the Boks got a shock 2-point shock victory and a win for either side could be a huge boost ahead of their opening clash at the World Cup later this year.

This massive clash gets underway from 09:35 local time.