Springbok captain out for eight weeks

Jean de Villiers will miss the incoming tour because of a knee injury.

De Villiers, who has been plagued with injury all season, sat out the Stormers' match against the Cheetahs on Saturday after complaining of discomfort in his left knee.

The Springboks' worst fears were realised after De Villiers underwent a scope on Sunday, and he was subsequently ruled out of action for two months.

With fellow centre Jaque Fourie also set to miss the incoming tour, Heyneke Meyer will not only have to find a new captain but also a completely new centre combination.

'Losing our captain is a massive setback,' said Meyer. 'His injury is the latest in a string of setbacks we've experienced. Luckily we have good depth in the squad at centre, but replacing your captain is always difficult.'

When pushed about who might take over the captaincy, Meyer responded, 'We have a number of good leaders in the squad, but I don't want to rush a decision on the captaincy as we still have to finalise the squad for June.'

The Springboks will kick off the incoming tour with a non-cap match against the World XV in Cape Town on 7 June, before two Tests against Wales and one against Scotland.

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images