Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber has appointed a brand new skipper for South Africa’s World Cup warm-up Test against Argentina on Saturday and his choice may come as a surprise to some.
With all of regular captain Siya Kolisi and his deputies Duane Vermeulen, Handre Pollard and Eben Etzebeth all unavailable for selection for this week’s Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires, Nienaber has given the armband to Bongi Mbonambi.
SO WHO IS BONGI MBONAMBI?
He is the Sharks and Springboks hooker with 59 Test caps to his name. And although he has played as the Springboks’ back-up No 2 more often than not, Mbonambi has been a prominent feature in the Test set-up since making his debut in 2016.
Addressing the media from Argentina on Tuesday early evening, Nienaber said he is extremely proud to cast Mbonambi in this new role and happy to share the moment with him.
“I’m extremely proud of Bongi,” Nienaber said “He has been an excellent leader for us since 2018. He is one of our game drivers, leads by example, a straight talker who doesn’t mince his words. Bongi is a no-nonsense guy who demands respect.”
SPRINGBOKS’ 2023 FIXTURES:
RWC warm-up fixtures:
Saturday, 5 August – South Africa v Argentina (Buenos Aires), 9:10pm
Saturday, 19 August – South Africa vs Wales (Principality Stadium, Cardiff), 4:15pm
Friday, 25 August – Springboks vs New Zealand (Twickenham, London), 8.30pm
Sunday, 10 September – South Africa v Scotland (Stade Velodrome, Marseille), 5:45pm
Sunday, 17 September – Springboks v Romania (Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux), 3pm
Saturday, 23 September – South Africa v Ireland (Stade de France, Paris), 9pm
Sunday, 1 October – Springboks v Tonga (Stade Velodrome, Marseille), 9pm
Weekend of 14/15 October – Quarter-finals
Weekend of 21/22 October – Semi-finals
Saturday, 28 October – Final