Cardiff Blues prop Gethin Jenkins will captain Wales against world champions South Africa at the Millennium Stadium on November 24.
Gareth Thomas led Wales for the 21st time on his 100th appearance in Wales' final 2007 World Cup Pool match - and Jenkins will become Wales' 125th skipper.
Jenkins became Wales' most capped prop at the World Cup when he overtook his regional coach DaiYoung's tally of 51 caps with his 52nd appearance against Fiji in Nantes.
"Anyone who knows or has worked with Gethin will tell you he sets high standards for himself and those around him," said Wales caretaker coach Nigel Davies.
"We all talk about looking after the 'one per cents' as the way to get ahead in elite sport and Gethin typifies the professional sportsman who lets nothing go by him.
"He's a 26-year-old with 50 caps, two World Cups and a British Lions tour under his belt which shows his dedication in itself, and you only have to look at his ability to contribute to both sides of the front row to know you have something special as a player.
"For our meeting with South Africa we need a captain who will galvanize the squad, someone who every player will be proud to stand in line behind and someone who strives for perfection in himself and those around him. Gethin fits the bill."
Jenkins added: "When Nigel asked me to be his captain against South Africa I have to admit it came as a bit of a surprise and I did take some time to think about it, but there was only ever going to be one answer.
"It's obviously a huge honour, probably the biggest in Welsh sport, but I wanted to be sure I could do justice to the responsibility. My goal as a player is to do everything to the highest of standards and this is no different.
"I had a chat with may dad, a few of the players who are close to me and with Dai Young, who has very much been there and done that, and in the end there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity.
"I just try to be the best team player I can be. It's a huge honour and just to think of the players that have gone before me is pretty awe inspiring in itself."