Johann Muller will skipper the Sharks in the Super 14.
Springbok captain John Smit will be utilised as a hooker and tighthead prop, and be able to concentrate on getting himself ready for the Test series against the British and Irish Lions.
Muller, 29, who has 61 Super 14 caps, 60 Currie Cup games and 22 Tests behind him, confirmed he would lead the side this season. He also captained the Sharks last year when Smit played in France.
De Jongh Borchardt writes for Rapport that Sharks coach John Plumtree has a high regard for Muller’s leadership capabilities.
Muller is looking forward to working with Smit in a team oozing experience and exciting players.
Many experts believe 2009 could be the Sharks’ year, but Muller realises it won’t be easy.
“There are many games to come before you can start thinking of a final. We don’t want to place ourselves under pressure by saying we’ll win the Super 14,” he said.
“We are starting with a very difficult challenge in playing the Stormers at Newlands. After that it’s the Lions in Durban and then we tour Australia and New Zealand or four weeks.
“It’s a long series. Fortunately the core of our group is intact. We have only lost BJ Botha, AJ Venter, Brad Barritt, Fred Michalak and Henno Mentz.
“That kind of continuity gives you heaps of confidence, as does the fact that we won a trophy for the first time in 12 years.”
“It’s great to have experience and it will help me that there are several other leaders in the squad, but that alone does not win games.
“We’ll still have to play hard rugby. The experienced heads help when the pressure starts mounting.”Tweet