Heyneke Meyer wants Jean de Villiers to continue as Springbok captain in 2013.
When De Villiers was handed the captaincy in early 2012, Meyer made it clear that it was a short-term appointment. Meyer said that he would not be rushed into appointing a long-term skipper, and that he would review this position at the end of the 2012 season.
It was believed that De Villiers’s age (31) counted against the Stormers veteran, as he would in all likelihood not last through to the 2015 World Cup.
But it seems that Meyer has now had a change of heart. Following Saturday’s win at Twickenham, a victory that saw the Boks finishing their three-game tour unbeaten, Meyer confirmed that De Villiers is likely to continue as captain in 2013.
‘Provided Jean is able to carry on and he continues to play like he is at the moment, and there is no reason why he shouldn’t be able to, then I would like him to carry on as the captain next year,’ said Meyer.
‘Jean was new to me at the start of the year in the sense that I had not worked with him before. I had only coached against him [when Meyer worked at the Bulls]. But I went with him as the leader and it has worked out really well.’
The Boks have finished the 2012 season with seven wins in 12 Tests. They struggled with injuries to key players throughout the season, but Meyer feels that De Villiers played a key role in keeping the side together.
‘He has done a great job in creating the culture of the team and he was one of the few players, there being two others, who played every Test match this year.
‘He has proved himself to be a really good captain and he has been a great help to me during the course of the year, particularly with the way he has worked with the youngsters.’