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Springboks back Patrick Lambie awarded Sharks captaincy

Springboks utility Patrick Lambie will lead the Sharks in Super Rugby in 2016, taking over from the departed Bismarck du Plessis.

Lambie was unveiled as the new leader of the Durban-based franchise on Wednesday while Springboks back-rower Marcell Coetzee was confirmed as his deputy.

"It is a huge honour for me to be involved in the leadership group at the Cell C Sharks," Lambie said. "For as long as I can remember, I've come to Kings Park to watch my team play.

"Firstly to play for the Cell C Sharks and secondly to be considered as a leader is amazing, and a dream come true.

"There is a good mixture of youth and experience in the squad. We will all be working together with positivity and eagerness, making sure the team always comes first."

The Sharks were considered contenders ahead of the 2015 Super Rugby season but failed to deliver on their potential and eventually finished 11th.

But there is again cause for optimism following the arrivals of Springboks Willie le Roux, Coenie Oosthuizen and Jacques Potgieter.

Sharks coach Gary Gold said Lambie's appointment was key in helping to take the team forward next season.

"Pat's records and performances over the years speak volumes about the calibre of player he is," Gold said.

"He is a natural born leader, who has shown on numerous occasions that he possesses all of the qualities needed to be a great captain, especially captaining a team he has supported all his life.

"Both Pat and I are aligned with our vision to take the Cell C Sharks forward and I respect and admire his commitment to Sharks rugby, he has my full support and backing."