In a move that will surprise nobody who has been following recent developments, Sharks coach John Plumtree has confirmed that 25-year-old Francois Steyn will assume the role of squad captain for the Sharks while Keegan Daniel is out of action with a knee injury.
Daniel hurt his MCL against the Leopards in a warm-up game on Friday night and will miss at least four, but possibly six weeks of the Super Rugby season as a result. Plumtree, speaking to the Sharksrugby website, explained the reasons behind Steyn’s elevation:
“Frans becomes the ideal candidate for the captaincy in terms of experience,” said the coach of the 50-test veteran. “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.”
Steyn will be ably supported by a number of other senior players boasting vast experience, among them Jacques Botes, Jannie du Plessis, Willem Alberts, Franco van der Merwe and JP Pietersen. While the Sharks are not generally in the habit of naming an official vice captain in their match-day squads, it will be interesting to note which player in particular emerges as “pack leader” with Daniel out; my money is on du Plessis, but Alberts is also a strong candidate, when fit.
The Sharks will name their likely first-choice line-up for Friday night’s game against the Pumas in Nelspruit. Steyn is expected to captain that outfit, which will be announced later today.Tweet