Matfield handed captaincy
South African lock Victor Matfield will captain the side for the upcoming one-off Test against Italy.
By Carlie Horsley
Last Updated: 16/06/08 2:07pm
Springbok lock Victor Matfield has been named captain for the one-off Test against Italy at Newlands on Saturday.
This decision follows the absence of regular captain John Smit, who has returned to France to play for his club Clermont in the Top 14 semi-final against Perpignan.
Matfield has also been appointed as the official vice-captain and will step in to lead the team when Smit is off the field.
He said: "It is a tremendous honour for me to captain my country and I'm grateful to Peter for the opportunity."
The recent two-Test series win against Wales puts the Boks in fighting form and coach Peter de Villiers believes Matfield is the right man to lead the team against the Italians.
"Victor is a rugby genius, but more than that he understands people. He has shown outstanding leadership qualities since joining the squad, and he made this decision very easy for me, " he said