29 Nov 2010

Juan Smith assumes Springbok captaincy

5:58 am on 29 November 2010

The Cheetahs super rugby flanker Juan Smith has been named as captain of the Springbok squad for Sunday morning's season-ending finale against the Barbarians at Twickenham.

Smith assumes the captaincy from Victor Matfield who was one of seven Springboks released as the squad was reduced to 23 players.

Matfield and Jean de Villiers were both injured in the 21-11 victory over England on Sunday and are joined by five other players in returning home.

Matfield suffered a rib cartilage injury while De Villiers has a mild groin strain.

Frans Steyn (Racing Metro) and Ruan Pienaar (Ulster) return to their European clubs as Sunday's match falls outside the November international window.

The Bulls trio of Pierre Spies, Morné Steyn and Deon Stegmann have also been released to return to South Africa.

The Springbok team for the match will be named on Thursday.