Bismarck du Plessis named Sharks captain
January 17, 2014
Jake White believes Springboks hooker Bismarck du Plessis is the best rake in the world © Getty Images
Bismarck du Plessis will captain the Sharks in 2014, Jake White replacing Keegan Daniel with "the best hooker in the world" because he wants "a fresh start" for the Super Rugby season. The Sharks coach explained his decision by describing du Plessis as "a winner" and a "rare breed" for his record of having won three world cups - under-19, under-21 and senior - before the age of 24.
"It would be understandable if Keegan was disappointed and he has done a good job as captain of the Sharks in the past, but it is about the team, not the individual," White said at a press conference in Durban. "And after a lot of consultation I have decided that Bismarck is the man to take us forward as captain, with Odwa Ndungane, Jean Deysel and Pat Lambie backing him up as vice-captains.
"If Bismarck is unavailable for a match for some reason, one of those three will step in to lead the side in his place. The one thing that Bismarck does bring is that he is a winner. He won the under-19 and under-21 world cups when he was a junior, and, of course, he has also been involved in a successful World Cup at senior level as well as winning Currie Cup campaigns.
"There will also be some new guys in the squad that will be announced in the next few weeks, and having Bismarck there, who I have worked with before, will be a big help."
White denied that du Plessis' disciplinary record was a cause of concern, or that the captaincy was "a trade-off for him having to do anything differently".
"Bismarck never had any disciplinary problems when I worked with him before," White said.
"What I am hoping is that the captaincy will upskill him in those areas where he is weak. Bismarck knows his areas of weakness and what he has to work on, and has a great mentor in John Smit, who is based in the stadium and will always be available to give him advice both as a hooker and as a captain."
White, meanwhile, confirmed that he would select Patrick Lambie exclusively as a fly-half, and that the Springboks star would not be played at fullback. He also said that Frans Steyn would play at inside centre.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Lewis Hamilton says there is no need to sit down with his team-mate Nico Rosberg and go back over the events of last year ahead of their upcoming title campaign
Giedo van der Garde is taking legal action ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in an attempt to secure one of Sauber's race drives in 2015
Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 4. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups as they are named to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks
The Football Association is to launch an investigation into the alleged spitting incident between Manchester United defender Jonny Evans and Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen implores rugby to ask itself 'is this really the game we want?', "if we want to encourage people to watch the game"
Is there still a rugby league county championship?
After Nemanja Matic twisted his ankle celebrating Chelsea's League Cup win, ESPN runs down some of the game's most ludicrous injuries
Proposals to remove promotion and relegation from the Aviva Premiership would be for the good of the entire game, argues John Taylor
Amid the glitz and glamour of modern grand prix racing it can be all too easy to forget about the men and women that keep the wheels turning. The Grand Prix Trust makes sure that's not the case
Could the Force's scrum woes and the general sluggishness of the pack affect Michael Foley's hopes of Wallabies role? Brett McKay asks the question in Three Points
Amir Khan is unlikely to face Kell Brook this summer as he looks to negotiate a fight with Miguel Cotto in America
Louis van Gaal wants his Manchester United players to cut out the backpasses to David De Gea as frustrations mount among supporters over his side's unadventurous approach this season
Brendan Rodgers admits Liverpool's defeat at Crystal Palace in November left him fearing for his job at Anfield
Andre Ward has warned Carl Froch that he will be calling all of the shots over their proposed title unification bout
Emre Can sees his long-term future at Liverpool as a midfielder, but insists he will never be the new Steven Gerrard
Eight years ago, Steve Bunce was offered the chance of buying a 'share' in Tyson Fury, and it would have been a shrewd investment if he had the money
He may try and play down his obsession with his appearance, but Cristiano Ronaldo has apparently been sending a personal stylist to regularly brush up his waxwork model
Who was the 100th man to win a world championship Grand Prix?
Paul Butler tells Inside Boxing he turned down the chance of a trial with Liverpool in order to focus on boxing - and it was the right choice
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner