Bok captain: 'Whiteley an excellent choice'

Warren Whiteley (Gallo Images)
Warren Whiteley (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Lions coach Johan Ackermann says whoever succeeds Adriaan Strauss as captain of the Springboks must be the best in their position.

Strauss dropped a bombshell on Thursday when he announced that he will retire from international rugby at the end of 2016. This has naturally started a debate about who should replace him when the time comes, with several players being named in the media as potential successors to the Bok hooker.

Lions captain and current Bok No 8, Warren Whiteley, is one of the names being mentioned, especially considering his closest rival as No 8 is the injured Duane Vermeulen. Vermeulen would have been a strong favourite to take over the reins had he not played his club rugby in France.

"Warren Whiteley has all the characteristics to become Springbok captain, but then there must be agreement that he is the best No 8 in the country," Ackermann told Netwerk24.

"Warren will be an excellent Bok captain, but we must first decide whether or not he is the best in his position. You don't want a situation where you have doubts over your captain and wonder whether he is the best in his position.

"The players will no doubt respond to Warren. He is an unbelievable guy on and off the field and he is also skilled in handling the media."

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