Daniel tweet douses 'fire'
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Cape Town - Sharks captain Keegan Daniel has deftly pooh-poohed reports that he is suspicious of an Afrikaans-dominated environment in the Super Rugby camp ... almost without saying anything.
The mobile, diminutive Springbok loose forward (@KeeganDaniel) took to Twitter from Australia this morning (in SA time terms), posting a photograph of him enjoying a convivial coffee with all-Afrikaans squad-mates Jannie du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Franco van der Merwe.
The only words attached to the tweet, sent out to his 34 844 followers, were: “Just getting a quick lesson in Afrikaans before training. Your thoughts?”
There was a quick response from the heart of Afrikanerdom in Pretoria, where Bulls captain and another Bok team-mate Pierre Spies (@Pierrespies8) simply said: “Moooooi manne!” (Nice, men.)
The tweets appear to pour cold water over a report in Afrikaans newspaper Beeld
, suggesting that the Sharks camp had been rocked by a statement from Daniel - he was not actually quoted in the story - that there were “too many Afrikaners involved in Sharks rugby”.
The piece said Daniel felt isolated as leader and was fearful of cliques in the squad.
It follows a difficult period for the Durban-based side, in which their hopes of making the 2013 playoffs have nose-dived with five defeats in succession, although they have arguably been disrupted by injuries more than any other side in the competition.
The Sharks play the Force in their final Australasian tour fixture in Perth on Friday (13:45 SA time).
Perhaps significantly, Daniel has been retained as skipper
even though he is probably due a rotational break.
The side sees the return of prop Jannie du Plessis and flank Willem Alberts. *Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwingJannie du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Keegan Daniel and Franco van der Merwe (Twitter)