Stormers Coach Robbie Fleck announced Schalk Burger will captain the Stormers when they tour Australia for their matches against the Rebels and the Force.
Fleck has had to make provisions after a losing a few star players. Co-captain Frans Malherbe injured his neck while playing for the Springboks in their series against Ireland. While their other co-captain Juan du Jongh and star-fullback Cheslin Kolbe will be preparing for the Olympic Sevens in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, later this year.
With de Jongh and Malherbe unavailable, Springbok stalwart Schalk Burger will take over the captaincy.
With Malherbe likely to be out for at least two weeks, prop Wilco Louw joins the side accompanied by Jean Kleyn, JP Smith, Jaco Taute and Scott van Breda.
Fleck also said that although the loss of de Jongh and Malherbe’s leadership is a blow to the team, Schalk Burger is a more than capable replacement.
“Schalk Burger is one of the most experienced players in South African rugby, and he is certainly no stranger to the captaincy role, so we will draw on his leadership abilities as much as we can,” Fleck said.
The Stormers boss has said that a successful tour is vital to stay in control of their own play-off hopes.
“This is obviously a crucial tour for us, and the players know that we are in for two challenging matches in Australia.
“With our international players only joining us this week, we have had to travel later than we usually would, but the benefit of that is that we are travelling together as a united group.
“We have set ourselves some goals for this trip, one of which is for these young guys to gain some valuable experience playing abroad.
“We have to gain some momentum in this final phase of the competition to keep our destiny in our own hands,” Fleck said.
Stormers touring squad: Schalk Burger (captain), Nizaam Carr, Damian de Allende, Daniel du Plessis, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Rynhardt Elstadt, Nic Groom, Huw Jones, Oli Kebble, Jean Kleyn, Vincent Koch, Siya Kolisi, Wilco Louw, Bongi Mbonambi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Scarra Ntubeni, JD Schickerling, Louis Schreuder, JP Smith, Jaco Taute, Brandon Thomson, Scott van Breda, Kobus van Wyk, Alistair Vermaak, Leolin Zas.