Keegan Daniel to lead Sharks
Keegan Daniel (Gallo Images)
Durban - The Sharks confirmed on Tuesday that Keegan Daniel will captain the team during the ABSA Currie Cup.
John Plumtree's team have been severely disrupted by national duty, with 16 players unavailable due to the Tri-Nations and South Africa's World Cup preparations.
"With all the experience gone out of the team, I'm using the opportunity to give Keegan the chance to stamp his mark on the team and our franchise," said Plumtree.
"He was a good choice because of his passion about the jersey and he's been a real consistent performer for the last couple of seasons.
"It's the type of respect that the team has for him and he has for the jersey that's given him the opportunity to captain the side this campaign."
Veteran back Stefan Terblanche will be his deputy.
The Sharks are the defending champions after beating Western Province in last season's final and Plumtree said that the short turn around between the Super Rugby competition, which saw them reach the play-offs, and the Currie Cup has been difficult.
"It hasn't been easy, but we were sort of expecting this.
"I guess it is a little bit harder because we didn't think they'd take so many of our guys with the away leg of the Boks."
Plumtree was, however, adamant that the youngsters he plans to promote will all be able to fill in.
"It has put a little bit more pressure on us, but the last two or three years we've had a similar coaching philosophy through our age grades.
"What that's helped us with is the transition when those players stepped up, they'd be doing similar things to what they'd be doing anyway, so it has made the transition for those guys a lot easier."
Daniel, 26, has been part of the Sharks set up since 2003 when he joined from Border.
Daniel said he was "excited" by the new challenge. "I did get a little bit of a taste of it last year in the Currie Cup in one of the games," he said.
"I've just been very blessed to have played under great leaders like Johann Muller and John (Smit). Those guys have been mentors in my life, which has really helped me."