Jake White has explained to the Sharks website why he has appointed Bismarck du Plessis as his captain for the season.
“I consulted widely with people involved in this organisation, John Smit one of them,” White explained. “I need to stress that Bismarck brings a winning culture to the Cell C Sharks. He’s a winner. He’s won an Under 19 World Cup, an Under 21 World Cup, a senior World Cup, a Currie Cup, and there aren’t too many guys that can put that on their CVs. Both he and Ruan Pienaar had won all three World Cups before they were 22 years old and not too many can boast that kind of achievement in their rugby careers.
“There is no doubt in my mind he’s a freak, one of the best players in the world, the best hooker in the world.
“What I respect is that he could go anywhere in the world and earn five times what he is now and still get the guarantee from Heyneke Meyer about being a Springbok in the next World Cup. He’s chosen to stay here and if that doesn’t show people he’s dedicated to the Cell C Sharks then we’re on a different page. It’s not a reward for that, but it shows he is genuine.
“Everyone knows how good he is. I’m hoping that this role of captaincy, but more importantly, with the change in environment we are creating and the people we are putting around him, we will really upskill him in terms of the things he is weak at. He knows what his limitations are, even in terms of how he’s going to be a captain. He won’t get too many mentors better in world rugby than the one two floors up from him who has captained South Africa the most times. I’m just hoping – I don’t believe he can’t get better – that he can be that phenomenal player consistently.”
Talking about former skipper Keegan Daniel, White added, “Keegan will probably be a bit disappointed, that’s natural, he’s been a good captain. The thinking is for me to have a stamp of what I think is important for us as a group. The dynamics in the group are changing, there are some new guys who have joined the squad.
“I’ve worked with Bismarck before, he is a winner and has enormous presence in rugby. It’s not about individuals but what we do as a group.”Tweet