Durban - The loss of campaign captain Keegan Daniel
, who has led the Sharks since the 2011 Currie Cup, means vice-captain Frans Steyn
will deputise in his absence, after leading the team against the Leopards last Friday night.
Daniel limped off the Woodburn pitch in their opening warm-up game with a knee injury that coach John Plumtree confirmed would mean missing their eighthman and captain for about six weeks.
With Steyn now considered something of a veteran, a Rugby World Cup winner in 2007 and a mature player who will turn 26 this year, the leadership role will be his in the absence of Daniel who has led the Sharks to the finals of all three campaigns where he was captain.
becomes the ideal candidate for the captaincy in terms of experience,” Plumtree told Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick
“He has the respect of the players, leads by example and he’s a winner. We know that everyone will get behind him and support him.”
The Sharks coach added that there are enough experienced campaigners in the squad who can assist in terms of strategy. “They will help him out with advice which is important.”
In naming Steyn as his captain against the Leopards in last Friday night’s pre-season game, Plumtree pointed out that the 1.91m and 110kg inside centre would, in all probability, play a big role for the Sharks in terms of game time. That the player who has been capped 40 times at Super Rugby level and gone on to play for three years at Racing Metro in France had matured greatly and was a high-respected team-mate and opposing player.
The Sharks end their pre-season rugby with a match against the Pumas this weekend, before making final preparations for their opening match against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein next Saturday.
Super Rugby starts this weekend when four of the Australian teams are in action a week earlier than the New Zealand and South African teams to account for the British and Irish Lions tour in June. The Rebels will host the Force in the opening game for 2013 on Friday, with the Brumbies and Reds in action on Saturday.