South Africa’s Springboks Touring Europe In November
The South African national rugby squad, known as the Springboks, are in Europe for a tour that will include four test matches during the month of November.
They will be playing games against England, Wales and Italy, as well as an opening test against the Barbarians this coming Saturday. The Barbarians are a rugby side which brings together players from different clubs to play a few matches each year in a similar way to an all-stars team in other sports.
The Barbarians encounter does not count as an official test, but it will serve to prepare the Springboks for the following three tough games, while acclimatising to the European conditions.
Current captain Adrian Strauss announced that he would be retiring after the European tour, begging the question: who will take over the Springbok leadership from the Cheetahs hooker next year.
Lambie to captain Springboks
Coach Allister Coetzee has certainly given an indication of who could be in for the skipper’s armband in coming years, with Patrick Lambie named as captain for this weekend’s clash with the Barbarians in Strauss’ absence, as he is being rested.
The 26-year-old Sharks flyhalf will captain the team against the Barbarians in London a week before they play their first test of the four-match tour against England at Twickenham.
With 53 test caps earned while playing for the Springboks, Lambie is an experienced international player with the respect of his peers, and will certainly be a popular choice for the captaincy.
Coach Coetzee explained his choice of captain to the media through a press release this week.
“Patrick was always part of the leadership group and part of the spine of the Springbok team,” said Coetzee, according to SuperSport.
“He has excelled as a leader at franchise level and has the respect of his peers. He understands the team culture and has a great understanding of the game and the way he wants to play. I have no doubt that he will make a success of this appointment as captain for this match,” he said.
“Adriaan (Strauss) still plays an important role in the squad, by giving support to Patrick and also helping Bongi Mbonambi (the two hookers on duty for the Barbarians game) with technical detail, and he has bought into the succession plan. He understands the bigger picture and he will be back to lead the team again against England at Twickenham next weekend,” the statement added.
Springboks On Tour In Europe – Fixtures
November 5: Barbarians v South Africa
November 12: England v South Africa
November 19: Italy v South Africa
November 26: Wales v South Africa