I believe that he can develop into one of the best leaders that has ever led South Africa
Jean de Villiers has been appointed as Springbok captain until the end of the year due to the stability and high standards he offers the team.
The experienced centre has impressed new coach Heyneke Meyer in the way that he has taken charge of the side in the series against England, and has been entrusted with the role on a more long term basis as the Bok mentor looks to give his side the best chance to develop in a settled environment.
Meyer cited a number of factors for the decision, but perhaps the most significant is that he has already started planning for the Rugby Championship campaign which starts in August.
Meyer explained: "We have already started planning for the next series so there is no time to wait until the week before the first Test to announce the captain so I think it is the right decision.
"He [De Villiers] has got a lot of respect from the players, I could see it from day one, and he has been a great ambassador for South Africa, not just on the field but off the field as well.
"It was very easy to make him the captain because I have worked with some great leaders annd some great captains and he is right up there with the best and I believe that he can develop into one of the best leaders that has ever led South Africa.
"I just felt that I want to give Jean the confidence that it is his team, and he must lead the team as he feels," he added.
Meyer admitted that the captaincy role had been a major concern for him ahead of the England series, but explained that De Villiers' high standards and strong leadership style have convinced him that the Stormers stalwart is the man to take the Boks forward.
"The captaincy was always a big worry, but the culture that Jean has put in place and the way he leads is great. I was very impressed with how he brings the young players into the mix, even Bismarck [Du Plessis] and Pierre [Spies] have grown as leaders.
"What I am very happy about with Jean is that the culture we are setting is a culture of excellence, and I also want a culture of humbleness where we are out there for the people," he said.
Meyer added that the form of his skipper is very important, so he wants De Villiers to continue leading from the front as he did in the first Two Tests against England.
"I have said to Jean that it is important that he plays great rugby as well, he has been a catalyst and the try he scored in the first Test was also the winning try so that is very important to me," he said.
De Villiers said that whilst it is an honour to take on the role in a more long term capacity, his focus is solely on producing a good performance this weekend and securing a series whitewash over England in Port Elizabeth.
He said: "It is nice to know that but for me the focus has been on winning this week and putting up a good performance. I think we have come a long way from the first Test and we have improved in some areas but there is still a lot of work that we need to do."
"It is nice to have that sort of stability, to work with the team and know that you have got that role now. It will give me more time to prepare going into the Rugby Championship and maybe work a bit more with the management and the coach to put things in place," he added.
De Villiers was quick to credit the support of the core of senior players in the team as vital to his success as a leader.
"It is a job that you can't do on your own, the help that I have received from the senior players in the team has been fantastic and they make my job so much easier and hopefully we can keep on building as a leadership group," he said.