Fourie du Preez faces a tough task hauling the Springboks into the World Cup knockout rounds after they suffered the biggest shock in the tournament's history and lost their captain.
The 33-year-old widely considered one of the best scrum halves in the world says only that he will "lead from the front." But that is just what a lot of South Africans want right now.
The country still cannot get over seeing their beloved rugby idols beaten 34-32 in their opening World Cup match against Japan.
And the thumping 46-6 Pool B win over Samoa may have reassured them. But the decision of captain Jean de Villiers to quit after suffering a second broken jaw in six weeks came as a new blow.
South Africa go into their third game against Scotland on Saturday still not certain of qualification and Du Preez has a big job on his hands.
Without de Villiers and injured vice captain Victor Matfield, Du Preez has lost 200 caps and must galvanize a youthful side at St James Park.