The Sharks have named Keegan Daniel as their captain for the 2012 Super Rugby campaign.
It was always known that 2011 Currie Cup skipper Daniel and Bismarck du Plessis were the front runners for the Sharks captaincy following the exits of John Smit (Saracens) and Stefan Terblanche (Ulster). And head coach John Plumtree announced on Monday his decision to stick with 26-year-old Daniel for the new Super Rugby campaign.
‘I was really impressed with Keegan during the Currie Cup last year, the way he grew as a leader in what was a difficult campaign,’ said Plumtree. ‘It was a campaign where we had to deal with a number of interruptions, through injury and the Springboks coming back. So it was difficult to manage and I thought he did really well.’
Plumtree added that most of the Sharks players backed Daniel as their captain.
‘He has the respect of all the players in the team which is obviously very important and also for the way he plays. And his friendliness and the person he is off the field make him a popular leader. I’m giving him this opportunity to keep the growth going and we’ll see how it goes,’ continued Plumtree.
‘I think the biggest thing – and I can’t emphasise it more – is that he has the support of all his team-mates. Ultimately, he was their choice as their leader. You can’t get a better endorsement than that from your peers.’
Du Plessis, who is set to become the first-choice Springbok hooker this season, will still play a leadership role as vice-captain. The 27-year-old will takeover as skipper should Daniel be unavailable for selection.
‘Keegan can’t play every game, so Bismarck du Plessis will be vice-captain. Again, it’s the same thing – a guy that leads by example. He’s also very astute in terms of tactics so I am keen to have his leadership and to give him the responsibility to grow within the group as well,’ said Plumtree. ‘Both of these players are ultimate competitors, they are real Sharks men with a real love for this jersey and it means a lot to them.
‘The majority of your leadership comes through actions and often words come second. Both these boys are right up there in that department.’