South Africa named veteran scrum-half Fourie du Preez as captain and made three changes to play Scotland in Rugby World Cup Pool B at St James’ Park on Saturday.
Schalk Burger and Duane Vermeulen will help Du Preez in his captaincy role, while senior players Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen also offer leadership qualities.
Meyer said his team would have to build on the victory over Samoa to stay on course for the quarter-finals after losing to Japan in their opening game.
Vice-captain Victor Matfield is struggling with a hamstring strain and scrumhalf Fourie du Preez (ribs) is also in doubt. He is introverted and soft spoken, but has the respect of his team-mates.
“It was always going to be hard to lose both captains, but I have total confidence in Fourie”.
“I’ve coached him since he was 19 years old and even back in the day I was astonished about his rugby knowledge. He is respected worldwide in the game”, Meyer said.
Nonu would have won his 100th worldwide cap if selected to play against Georgia but Hansen was looking at the positives. “I will be eternally grateful to him”.
“They are hugely experienced and they know what it will take to win this very important match against a great Scottish side”.
“I was quite sad on the one hand when I came off the field, as I knew I won’t get the opportunity to play for my country again”. Hopefully, I can lead by example and the team will follow me.
“It’s a massive honour and privilege for me being asked to be captain”, du Preez said. “I don’t think there was extra pressure on me to be fit for this game, but I’m glad I am fit”. “I hope to lead from the front”.
Jesse Kriel will link up in the centre with Damian de Allende in place of de Villiers, while Lodewyk de Jager takes over from Matfield at lock.
Jan Serfontein, who came into the 31-man squad in place of De Villiers, is among the backs replacements.
Jan Serfontein, who only arrived in Newcastle on Monday to replace De Villiers, was included on the bench.
De Villiers had surgery on his jaw on Wednesday which the South African federation said was a success.
Meyer is confident that his team can maintain the vast improvement they showed against Samoa after their shock loss to Japan.
The others are (with tests as captain since 2007 in parentheses): De Villiers (37), John Smit (35), Victor Matfield (19) and Burger (1).