Sayonara, Daniel-san

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 28 Mar 2014 at 10:04
Tagged with : , , , ,

The Cell C Sharks have confirmed that former captain Keegan Daniel will leave Durban at the conclusion of this year’s Super Rugby competition to join Japanese club Kubota on a two-year deal.

Daniel, who made his senior debut for the team 8 years ago, has been a dedicated and unquestionably loyal servant of Sharks rugby for a decade (he joined the Academy in 2004) and capped off a fine career by raising the Currie Cup trophy as captain in 2013. He has played many roles during his tenure, regularly appearing in all three back-row positions as a starting option, as well as delivering a plethora of game-changing cameo roles when picked as an impact substitute. Perhaps not the man most naturally suited to the captaincy, Daniel nevertheless stood up when asked and made a great fist of the leadership challenge. In fact, as captain, the 2013 Super Rugby campaign was the only one in which Daniel did not manage to lead his team to the final.

2014 has not started particularly well for the 29-year-old, with injury and loss of the captaincy relegating him to a bit part so far this season. Daniel will feature off the bench against the Waratahs this weekend in what will be only his second game (and first Super Rugby cap) of the season, but with injury continuing to play a major role this season, it’s to be expected that Daniel will enjoy opportunities to contribute further to the team he has served with distinction for so long, before embracing his new challenge later in the year.

Speaking about the departure, Sharks CEO John Smit, who is a good friend of the player’s, said “We offered Keegan a long-term contract to stay in Durban, but he has decided that it was time in his career for a new challenge. We respect his decision and thank him for ten years of dedication and loyalty. We wish him the very best for this new and exciting chapter in his life.”

Daniel adds: “I am eternally grateful to The Sharks for what they have done for my career. I have been at the union for ten years, experienced many highs, and have had the opportunity to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and have built lasting friendships along the way. It is never an easy decision to make when the time comes to move on and ply your trade elsewhere.

“I am sad to leave a place that I have called home and will always respect what The Sharks jersey stands for. It was an honour to captain the team for a couple of seasons and I have enjoyed every single moment of my time here.

“I look forward to contributing to the team’s aspirations during the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament before I embark on a new journey that seeks to embrace a new culture and style of rugby.”

Good luck Keegan. Your deeds of valour will not be forgotten.


  • Very sad news indeed. His work ethic was always right up there, giving 120% every single game. Will miss his ball skills and legendary offloads! Still regarded as a player with some of the best hands in the business. But we know JW likes his loosies big, so I’m guessing Daniel didn’t fit into his planning. All the best Keegs! Enjoy the sushi.

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.03.14 10:14:11 by Sharkszen Reply
    Another Nick
  • Sad but expected. Cheers K-Dog. πŸ™

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.03.14 10:16:54 by Son Of Mayhem Reply
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  • Well good to see that he was at least offered a long term deal by the Sharks, and not merely discarded.

    Sad news none the less, I really enjoyed his never say die David vs Goliath attitude. Currently I think he would add more at 8th man than Kanko, but Terror will obviously step into that role from CC onward.

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.03.14 10:24:38 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Probably has a lot to do with JW and his obsession with large players.

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.03.14 10:26:21 by Shred Reply

  • Eish this is sad news indeed. A good player that always gave his all. Good servant of Sharks Rugby indeed. All of the best after the Superugby campaign Keegan!!!

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.03.14 10:36:51 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • We will miss him, especially during CC this year, as a plethora of our loosies get call up to Bok duty. I suppose it is an opportunity for other youngsters to step up.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Keegan as part of the Sharks teams and what he brings to the game as a player, leader and person. All the best in your new quest.

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.03.14 10:38:44 by stevovo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Thank you for service to the Sharks Keegan. Go well!

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.03.14 10:40:30 by Observer Reply

  • Another painful article. My heart can’t take it any more after the news about all the injuries, now this.

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.03.14 10:54:16 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • Anyway, best of luck Keegan, thank you for everything you have done for us, we will miss you.

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.03.14 10:55:38 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • Cheers captain Keegan, you still have unfinished business to do with the Sharks in your last few months with them.

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.03.14 11:03:48 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Cheers Keegan

    I always rated you as a player who punched far above his weight, especially when you played against the Bulls. I loved your style of play, proving that you didn’t need to weigh 120kg to be effective on the field. I don’t believe you got the recognition you deserved, but you will be sorely missed by many ardent Sharks fans.

    Good luck for the future

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.03.14 11:05:39 by jonnow Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 10) : Bring home the SR trophy

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.03.14 11:05:59 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Jake white you Poepol!!!!

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.03.14 11:08:55 by BoerSeun Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 12) : Absobloodylutely, I cant think of a better send off.

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.03.14 11:10:27 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • That’s enough bas news for the week 😑 One of my favourite players of all time, up there with Tommy Bedford, Gary Teichman and Mark Andrews. Will really miss your dynamism and ball skills, in stead of this domkrag kak we are subjected to week in and week out

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.03.14 11:20:13 by Bayshark Reply

  • Cheers and thanks for the many great performances.

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.03.14 11:23:18 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • And while we are at it, its also Sayonara to Salmo from last man standing.
    In hindsight I cant fathom out why I would have gone with the Saders when the Brumbies are playing the Rebels and I hadnt picked the Brumbies yet.

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.03.14 11:26:05 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Gonna miss you Keegan. You were the heart of the Sharks team for a very long time. Enjoy Japan!

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.03.14 11:27:29 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Great ballplayer, completely wasted in the SA rugby setup.

    Good luck Keegan. Sad to see you go!

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.03.14 11:29:20 by rhineshark Reply
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    Spirit of Rugby
  • Go well K-dawg and thanks for all you did for the Sharks!

    I imagine you will really miss playing against the Bulls and the Blues. If my wonky memory serves me right then you always had your best games against those two teams.

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.03.14 11:41:05 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 17) :

    I picked the Brumbies and not all that confident that is going to pay off either.

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.03.14 11:42:21 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @jonnow (Comment 11) : Here here!!!

    I still feel our most attacking loosie combos had him in it…and the supposed loss of weight never affected our scrum.

    6. Keegan
    7. Alberts
    8. Kanko


    6. Keegan
    7. Coetzee
    8. Kanko

    Not to mention what he can offer off the back of the scrum!!!

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.03.14 11:43:09 by pienaar111 Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 21) : Eish not looking good for you at the moment. Seems Im going to be slaughtered on the Bru, again.

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.03.14 12:17:34 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 23) :

    I see there are 2 lifelines this year, so I will actually still be in the game after the Brumbies loss for what it’s worth.

  • Comment 24, posted at 28.03.14 12:20:16 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 24) : ja, I’m in that boat too…. still clinging to life, but only just

  • Comment 25, posted at 28.03.14 13:15:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 24) : I lost my first lifeline because I was too late to make my pick.

  • Comment 26, posted at 28.03.14 13:49:45 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Shred (Comment 4) : Yes, Jake’s fondness for monster-sized players played a part. But also at 29 years, you have to start making plans for retirement.

  • Comment 27, posted at 28.03.14 14:21:19 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • Go well Keegan. You did good but as you say it is time to move on.

  • Comment 28, posted at 28.03.14 14:39:51 by DaveB Reply

  • I see Wiehan Herbst confirmed off to Ulster. Im glad Matt Stevens is arriving then

  • Comment 29, posted at 28.03.14 14:59:08 by SheldonK Reply

  • Just saw the news about Wiehan as well πŸ™ Wont be surprised if a few more followed in their footsteps.

  • Comment 30, posted at 28.03.14 15:13:53 by Son Of Mayhem Reply
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  • Just one question. How long has that headline been in the Drafts folder?

  • Comment 31, posted at 28.03.14 15:22:47 by Die Kriek Reply

  • @Die Kriek (Comment 31) : I bet Rob nearly wet himself when he could finally use it on Sharksworld… πŸ˜†

  • Comment 32, posted at 28.03.14 15:24:22 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 29) : @Son Of Mayhem (Comment 30) : Sadly not all of the change was going to be positive….but as painful as it was for management to change, us supporters will probably also have to get used to things not staying the way we had become accustomed to.

  • Comment 33, posted at 28.03.14 15:26:02 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I love Keagan, but lets face it…He is 29 and not really first choice. I would have been surprised if he stayed. Wiehan on the other hand is surprising. I mean just look at our lock situation! I hope its not about Stevens coming here. Maby a little birdy whispered something about a Irish cap in his ear. πŸ˜•

  • Comment 34, posted at 28.03.14 15:48:13 by Southern_Shark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • So…so far its TW, Daniel, Mcleod, Herbst…who else? There will be others no doubt. Deysel being one of them.

    Except for Keegan, they’re all players that play in positions where we are thin as far as depth goes.
    13, 3, 9. Eish Jakey, eish.

  • Comment 35, posted at 28.03.14 16:11:29 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • @pienaar111 (Comment 22) :
    That first trio is still the best loose trio we’ve fielded in the last 10 years in my opinion.
    Keegan has 10 times the rugby brain that Coetzee will ever have. It would be my starting trio every Saturday and twice on sunday.

  • Comment 36, posted at 28.03.14 16:17:17 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • @John Galt (Comment 35) : TW is a 12, a position where we’re rather spoilt for choice. He was an okay stop-gap 13 but I doubt anyone would call him a specialist in that position.

  • Comment 37, posted at 28.03.14 17:44:15 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @John Galt (Comment 35) : Let’s be honest, both Keegan and McLeod are getting on in life.

    Our biggest headache currently (continuously, every year)….locks

  • Comment 38, posted at 28.03.14 18:11:19 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @John Galt (Comment 35) : Just curious. Why when someone leaves is it Jakes fault? Considering players move on every season from every club/union.
    Charl is 30, and is not in Meyers plans. I can’t blame him for wanting to play out his next few years abroad. Same for Keegan, who has just recovered from injury.
    I do feel for Tim, but someone had to be left out. Frans or Heimar?
    Herbst, great talent and I can only guess he is looking at the two mountains he must climb in Lourens and Jannie to get into SR.

    Why would Deysel be leaving? Because he’s been playing an impact role off the bench as well as taking over the captaincy when Bismarck goes off? Not everyone is so immature that they throw their toys out when put on the bench.

  • Comment 39, posted at 28.03.14 18:36:02 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 38) : This year is everyones headache. Looked at the injury list for SR and by far the most injuries by position is locks. Out of 50 odd there are 13 or 14 locks out.

  • Comment 40, posted at 28.03.14 18:39:05 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • My heart can’t take all of this. The injuries and now Keegan leaving is just too much. Best of luck Keegan, surely one of the best players we have produced, great rugby brain, determination, heart and the skills to go with. We will surely miss you K-Dogg. Pity you were not given the respect you deserved. If you didn’t love the Sharks the way you did, you would have left the country ages ago and played a lot of international rugby.

  • Comment 41, posted at 28.03.14 19:26:18 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • One of my favorite Sharks and rugby players of all time. Thank you Keegan and good luck for the future.

    May you finish your Sharks career with a Super Rugby title :mrgreen:

  • Comment 42, posted at 28.03.14 22:37:39 by Quintin Reply

  • @John Galt (Comment 36) : True but Marcell has more of a brain than Alberts – who becomes nothing once teams line him up with gang tackles etc

    Marcell is a big boy who plays hard. That would be the best for me…All three have great pace for big men (maybe Keegan not big i guess).

  • Comment 43, posted at 29.03.14 06:05:54 by pienaar111 Reply

  • This obsession with size irritates me. As jy nie groot of sterk is nie, moet jy slim wees.

  • Comment 44, posted at 29.03.14 06:25:26 by Son Of Mayhem Reply
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  • I see Wiehahn Herbst is off to Ulster after SR. Not in JW’s good books?

  • Comment 45, posted at 29.03.14 10:05:14 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 45) : if it’s true its a pity, I really rated him as a tight head.

  • Comment 46, posted at 30.03.14 19:03:09 by JD Reply
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  • Good luck Keegan hope you enjoy it over there.

  • Comment 47, posted at 30.03.14 19:04:46 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 46) :

  • Comment 48, posted at 30.03.14 19:44:32 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 48) : thanx for the link, it’s sad to see him leave as I really rated him.

  • Comment 49, posted at 30.03.14 19:55:47 by JD Reply
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