Sharks coach John Plumtree has installed two players who lead from the front to captain and deputise for The Sharks in this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby campaign.
With continuity playing some role, but ultimately, it was about choosing the right man for the job – Keegan Daniel has been named Sharks captain for the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.
“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,” explains coach John Plumtree. “It was a campaign where we had to deal with a number of interruptions, through injury and Springboks coming back. So it was difficult to manage and I thought he did really well.”
Not only is Keegan a player who gives it his all on the field, he is also held in high-esteem by his team-mates, making him not only a deserving choice, but also a popular one.
“He has the respect of all the players in the team which is obviously very important and also for the way he plays,” Plumtree continues. “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.”
The phrase “Leaders Lead” strikes the right notes in this instance as Keegan is not known for ever holding back. Another player who has that competitive spirit will back his captaincy up and deputise for him when he is not playing.
“Keegan can’t play every game, so Bismarck du Plessis will be vice-captain. 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.”
‘Leading by example’ becomes a common thread. The fact that they give it their all every game can’t but excite their team-mates to follow.
“The majority of your leadership comes through actions and often words come second,” explains The Sharks coach.
“Both these boys are right up there in that department.”