South Africa v Wales: Victor Matfield will captain Boks

Victor Matfield
Victor Matfield will captain South Africa against Wales

Victor Matfield will captain South Africa against Wales following Jean de Villiers' injury withdrawal.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer announced Matfield as interim captain in Cape Town on Tuesday.

The Vodacom Bulls lock, 37, will lead out his side in four games in June, including two Tests against Wales.

Meyer said: "Victor's appointment as interim captain is something I thought long and hard about and it wasn't an easy decision to make."

Matfield, who has 110 caps and captained the Springboks in 17 Tests earlier in his career, will lead out the Springboks for the first time since the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011.

He retired after playing for South Africa at the 2011 tournament but still plays club rugby for Bulls.

Matfield will be captain against a World XV in Cape Town on 7 June, Tests against Wales on 14 and 21 June in Durban and Nelspruit, and the game against Scotland in Port Elizabeth on 28 June.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has named the experienced Bakkies Botha to partner Matfield in the second row against the World XV.

Cornal Hendricks, will make his debut as JP Pietersen moves to outside centre.

Frans Steyn, Schalk Brits, Lwazi Mvovo and Johan Goosen are also back after playing no Test rugby last year.

"It's positive to have this kind of continuity in our first start of the year," said Meyer.

"Even though we'll be starting with a new midfield combination, Frans [Steyn] and JP[Pietersen] have both played more than 50 Tests for the Boks and with Bryan Habana also in the backline, Cornal [Hendricks] will start with a lot of experience around him.

"We're expecting a stern test on Saturday against the World XV and our mindset is to make our nation proud - it should never be anything else when the Springboks play.

"It will also be a good way to start the season before our first Test next week against Wales, but for now we're only focused on the World XV and playing well.

"Our aim for the season is to accelerate and make a step up from 2013. To put ourselves in a position to do that, we simply have to start well."

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