Cape Town – Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies is emerging as a frontrunner to captain the Lions in Super Rugby 2020.
With Warren Whiteley having been forced out of the competition with a serious knee injury, Franco Mostert now based at Gloucester and Kwagga Smith set for a stint in Japan, the Lions have lost a large chunk of leadership heading into the 2020 season.
In Jantjies, though, they have a player who has played Super Rugby at Ellis Park since 2011, with the exception of 2013 when he played for the Stormers.
Now 29, Jantjies also forms part of the core leadership group at the Springboks, where he a member of the World Cup-winning squad of 2019.
According to Netwerk24, however, new coach Ivan van Rooyen says he has a shortlist of potential captains for the new season but that he is not yet prepared to confirm who his options are.
Jantjies, however, will surely be one of them despite the minor disciplinary issue he had last season when he disobeyed an order from Smith to kick for poles in a Super Rugby game and kicked for the corner instead.
“I want to push the reset button and start the new year from scratch,” Jantjies said.
“I want to grow as a player and a leader and, no, I don’t think it’s going to be a challenging season for the Lions.
“It’s a young team, but they played together in the Currie Cup and there is a lot of potential.”