Juan de Jongh has been named as Western Province captain for the upcoming Currie Cup season with Pat Cilliers as his vice-captain.
The discarded Springbok centre is one of the more senior members in Allister Coetzee’s squad which has seven players who are still eligible for the Under-21s.
The 26-year-old takes over the squad captaincy from Deon Fourie, who is now playing in France, and will lead his province in the absence of national skipper Jean de Villiers.
“First and foremost, Juan is a true Western Province Rugby man, he knows the culture of the union and what it stands for and he will lead by example,” Western Province coach Allister Coetzee said in a press conference on Monday
“Despite being just 26 years old Juan is a very experienced and respected member of our squad and that will allow him to get the best out of everyone around him.
“We have a strong leadership group in this Western Province team and all eight to ten of those players [in our leadership group] will no doubt provide the necessary to support to Juan – starting with Pat, our official vice-captain.”
De Jongh made his WP debut in 2009 and has played 39 matches in the Blue & White hoops. He played his first Super Rugby match in 2010 and has made 69 appearances for the DHL Stormers.
Speaking about the captaincy, De Jongh said: “It’s a huge honour for me and a challenge I am relishing.
“I have some pretty big shoes to fill if you think about who has captained Western Province before me, but I’m excited about the challenge and I hope to be able to make a difference and add to the legacy of this great union.”
Western Province will get their Currie Cup campaign underway against the Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth on Friday, August 8.