Cheetahs's centre Francois Venter has been named captain of the Bloemfontein-based side for the 2016 Super Rugby season.
With 32 Super Rugby caps, Venter takes over the leadership role from veteran lock Francois Uys, who is currently playing for Japanese club Toyota Verblitz.
The physical midfielder will feature in a backline without Springboks, following the departures of Willie le Roux (Sharks) and Cornal Hendricks (Stormers).
The former Grey College learner joined the Cheetahs in 2013 after spending some time at the Bulls, and was also called up to former Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer’s national training squads ahead of the international season, but missed out on selection.
The new skipper's first taste of senior international rugby came last November after being selected in Michael Cheika’s Barbarians squad to face Gloucester and Argentina in England.
Venter's first task will be to lead the Cheetahs against the Jaguares in their opening match of the Super Rugby season on Friday, February 26 at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.