Cape Town - The Sharks will have a new captain in this year’s Currie Cup as regular skipper Ruan Botha is set for a stint in Japan.
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According to Netwerk24, Botha has signed a deal with Japanese Top League club Kubota Spears.
Botha is one of three Sharks players who will miss the Currie Cup due to commitments in Japan.
Botha's lock partner Stephan Lewies (Kamaishi Seawaves) and loose forward Philip van der Walt (Canon Eagles) will again head to the Far East like they did last year.
The above-mentioned trio will return in time for the start of next year’s Super Rugby competition.
But Botha’s departure means Sharks head coach Robert du Preez must name a new captain.
Botha led the Sharks to the Currie Cup final last year, where they lost at home to Western Province, and he also skippered the team in this year’s Super Rugby competition.
Contenders for the Sharks captaincy appear to be players like flyhalf Robert du Preez, hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle, loose forward Tera Mtembu and centre Jeremy Ward.
Mtembu has captained the Sharks in the past.
The Durbanites will open their Currie Cup campaign at home against the Blue Bulls on Saturday, August 25.