Lions captain Warren Whiteley says captaining the Springboks has been a dream of his ever since he was a child.
The athletic number eight's shoulder injury will deprive him of finishing Super Rugby with the Lions but he remains hopeful that he can come back and prove himself at the highest level once he's recuperated.
Whiteley, who has been likened to Springbok skipper Gary Teichmann, was flattered by the comparison.
"It’s a huge compliment and honour to be compared to Teichmann," Whiteley told Sport24.
"I originally hail from Durban and he was a boyhood hero of mine. It’s a massive task to live up to the player and captain he was, but I appreciate the comparison."
"In terms of the Springbok captaincy, I can’t deny that I have dreamed about it. As a player, the ultimate is to captain your team.
"But, for me, it’s about first proving myself at international level and being the best player in my position before I can captain. I’ve only started one Test match and, first and foremost, it will be about establishing myself."