Ackermann backs Whiteley as next Springbok captain

Date published: September 4 2016

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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 his retirement 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 number eight Warren Whiteley is one of the names being mentioned, especially considering his closest rival as number eight is the injured Duane Vermeulen. Vermeulen would have been a strong favourite to take over the reigns had he not played his club rugby in France.

"Warren Whiteley has all the characteristics to become Sproingbok captain, but then there must be agreement that he is the best number eight 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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