Super Rugby
Daniel handed Sharks captaincy
ESPNscrum Staff
January 16, 2012
The Sharks' Keegan Daniel fends off the Lions' Jano Vermaak, Lions v Sharks, Super Rugby, Ellis Park, Johannesburg, South Africa, June 11, 2011
Keegan Daniel sees off the challenge of Jano Vermaak © Getty Images
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Teams: Sharks | South Africa

Keegan Daniel has been handed the skipper's armband for the Sharks ahead of the 2012 Super Rugby season.

Back-row Daniel steps into the void left by the now departed Stefan Terblanche - who is turning out for Ulster in the Heineken Cup and the RaboDirect PRO12 - with Bismarck du Plessis being forced to play the understudy role once again. Sharks boss John Plumtree was quick to praise Daniel saying he was the stand-out candidate to lead the Natal based franchise.

"I was really impressed with Keegan during the Absa Currie Cup last year, the way he grew as a leader in what was a difficult campaign," Plumtree said. "It was a campaign where we had to deal with a number of interruptions, through injury and Springboks coming back.

"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.

"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."

And du Plessis - who is likely to be South Africa's first choice hooker now that skipper John Smit has moved to Saracens - will be his deputy.

"Keegan can't play every game, so Bismarck du Plessis will be vice-captain," Plumtree said. "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.

"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."

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