Fleck to surprise with Stormers captaincy?

Frans Malherbe (Gallo Images)
Frans Malherbe (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Stormers coach Robbie Fleck may spring a surprise when he announces his captain for the 2016 season.

READ: Sport24's choice for Stormers captain

According to Netwerk24, Springbok prop Frans Malherbe has emerged as a strong candidate for the captaincy.

The 24-year-old boasts 12 Springbok caps since making his debut in 2013.

Other strong candidates are centre Juan de Jongh and veteran loose forward Schalk Burger.

De Jongh though is part of the Springbok Sevens set-up and Burger will play his last season for the Cape franchise before heading to Saracens in England.

This could pave the way for the Stormers to invest in the future and make Malherbe captain.

Fleck, meanwhile, has named a 30-man squad for the Stormers' pre-season friendly against the South Western Districts Eagles in George on Saturday (16:00 kick-off).

Burger has returned from his club commitments in Japan but was not included in the touring party to George.

Fleck is expected to announce his captain once the whole squad is training together - which is likely to be after the completion of the World Rugby Sevens Series event in Australia on February 7.

The Stormers open their Super Rugby campaign at home against the Bulls on Saturday, February 27.

Stormers squad:

Nizaam Carr, Kurt Coleman, Jan de Klerk, Jean-Luc du Pleassis, Robert du Preez, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Rynhardt Elstadt, Huw Jones, Oliver Kebble, Jean Kleyn, Frans Malherbe, Godlen Masimla, Bongi Mbonambi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Khanyo Ncgukana, Justin Phillips, JD Schickerling, Louis Schreuder, Sti Sithole, JP Smith, Jaco Taute, Brandon Thompson, Kobus van Wyk, JC Janse van Rensburg, Jurie van Vuuren, Alistair Vermaak, Jano Vermaak, Jacques Vermeulen, Michael Willemse, Leolin Zas.

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