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Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is still undecided as to who will captain the national team for the Test series against England next month, despite reports that Fourie du Preez would be given the role.
The veteran scrumhalf, now playing for Japanese club Suntory Sungoliath, had been touted in recent days as the man to take over the reins following the retirement of John Smit after last year's World Cup.
“There’s been a lot of rumours about it, but I’ve been looking at every single guy from the start,” Meyer said on Monday.
“Fourie is available and he is a guy I will consider, and there’s a few other leaders as well.”
Meyer, who will take charge of his first Test since taking over from Peter de Villiers at the start of the year, strongly indicated that he would pick Du Preez in his squad, along with several other senior players like Jaque Fourie and Ruan Pienaar, though he was unsure about the status of Frans Steyn.
“Fourie is definitely available and the other that is available is Ruan, and a few other overseas-based players as well,” Meyer said.
“He definitely wants to play for South Africa, which is really important, and it’s now up to me to decide.
“We had meetings with him like we had with other leaders as well, so he’ll be in the mix.
“I’m looking at everyone and on Thursday I’m going to have a big meeting with the coaching staff and will finalise that with the selectors.”
Meyer confirmed that whoever was appointed as skipper would only be in charge for the three-Test series against England. He would reassess his selection ahead of the four-nations Rugby Championship starting in August.
“I’ll probably get a guy in for the first three Test matches and then look at a guy for the rest of the year,” he said.
“I don’t think it will go beyond that for the first year.”
Meanwhile, the former Bulls coach said he was pleased with the two-day camp he held with 42 players in Durban at the weekend.
“I’m happy with the depth. I think the great thing is that there’s such a huge drive by the guys wanting to play for South Africa,” Meyer said.
“In every position, there’s at least three guys that are pushing for selection. It’s almost like flipping a coin to decide who will play.
“There’s not a lot to choose because each guy brings something different.
“It’s great to have that, but it’s really difficult to cut that down to 32 and then to 22.
“But that’s the position I want to be in and I’m fortunate to be there.”
The final squad for the England series will be named later this week. – Sapa