With Rassie Erasmus set to name his first Springbok squad on Saturday, one of the biggest headaches facing him will be the announcement of his captain.
With injuries having plagued so many of the potential candidates, we assess all the options available to Erasmsus and who we think the best choice would be.
The Lions number-eight faces a lot of questions surrounding his fitness ahead of the tour, but if he is cleared should be the first choice for Erasmus.
Whiteley was handed the captaincy by Alistair Coetzee last year despite still being relatively inexperienced at international level, but his time as captain was short lived as an injury eventually saw Eben Etzebeth become the stand in captain mid-way through thee Rugby Championship.
This year, injury has again plagued the eighthman as a knee problem has kept him out of action since March and is only set to return this weekend, a week before the Boks face off against Wales in Washington.
While playing time will be the biggest worry facing Erasmus about Whiteley’s selection, it has been suggested that his delay in returning from injury has been done to prepare him for the June series.
Whitely’s commitment to South African rugby, his unrivalled leadership abilities and calming presence makes him a top candidate for Erasmus.
The Stormers captain has come close to receiving the captain’s armband for the national side and arguably should have had a chance last year instead of Etzebeth.
A hard working and quiet presence, there is a lot to like about Kolisi and now, the only potential obstacle in the way of him being named captain is his recent form.
The flanker has struggled for form in recent weeks in a Stormers tram that looks set to finish at the bottom of the South African Super Rugby log and as a result, questions have been raised about his inclusion in the Bok team.
There is no doubt that Kolisi will captain the Springboks during his career, the question is when and given the queries about his place in the side, it might be in the players interest to potentially hand him captaincy on a temporary basis until Whiteley is fit, and then make him the permanent vice-captain.
This would allow him to focus on his game and solidify his place in the starting line-up whilst simultaneously grooming him for the captaincy role. It would also take him out of the firing line given the amount of pressure on the Springboks to perform in June.
Another candidate that has been strongly linked with the leadership, Duane Vermeulen and while he has the necessary experience to captain a test match side, his commitment to the Springboks and South African rugby is questionable.
Vermeulen was named as the Stormers captain in 2015 until a neck injury side-lined him from the action. Whilst injured, he caused a lot of controversy when he flew to France to be unveiled as a post-2015 Rugby World Cup signing for French club Toulon.
Vermeulen has also struggled with injuries since the 2015 World Cup having made just four appearances for the Springboks since then.
An announcement that Vermeulen would be leaving Toulon at the end of the 2017/2018 season to prepare for the 2019 World Cup had South Africans very excited. However, since then there has been no word about whether he will be returning to play his Rugby in South Africa with rumours about a potential Japanese move that could see him miss the Rugby Championship.
At the end of the day, Vermeulen has not shown enough commitment to South African rugby to have earned the right to the captaincy. He is a world class player and a good captain, but it would send a harrowing message to South African based players if was given the captaincy.
An outside candidate, Pollards name has been thrown into the mix because of the growing injury list amongst the senior Springbok players.
Having captained the Junior Springboks as well as the Bulls recently, Pollard is no stranger to the leadership position and looks set to be handed the starting fly-half position.
While has been playing for the Springboks for almost four years now, Pollard has had ongoing injury problems and only recently looks like he has seen the back of them.
To name Pollard as Springbok captain, whether on a temporary or permanent basis would be an immature call to make.
There are no doubts he is a future candidate but has yet to prove he can play a full season without various injury setbacks and it would be a big insult to leapfrog the likes of Kolisi in terms of the leadership ranks.
Despite his injury laden season, the obvious candidate for Bok captaincy must be Warren Whiteley.
He has lead the Lions and the Springboks from the front in the last few years and is the heart on their sleeve leader the Boks are in desperate need of.
Siya Kolisi should be next in command as a future Springbok captain, but his current form suggests that his on field playing ability should be his sole focus.
The likes of Vermeulen and Pollard will definitely be part of the leadership group but Vermeulen’s absence in South African rugby and Pollards struggles with keeping fit mean that they should be not be frontrunners in the race.