Sharks coach Robert du Preez says their leadership group decided that Louis Schreuder will captain them during the upcoming Vodacom Super Rugby season.
The experienced scrumhalf, who led the side during their successful Currie Cup playoff campaign last year, has retained the armband, with prop Beast Mtawarira named as the vice-captain.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Du Preez said that the team’s 12-man leadership group made the call to keep Schreuder on as captain.
‘We all know he did a fantastic job during the Currie Cup,’ Du Preez said. ‘Louis is a well-respected and very experienced guy. We have a very strong leadership group, there are 12 of them, so it is quite a big group. You have the likes of Philip [van der Walt] in there, Jeremy [Ward], Dan [du Preez], Lukhanyo [Am], Lwazi [Mvovo] and Beast.
‘The captain was basically selected by the leadership group at the end of the day. The leadership group was first and foremost selected by the players, and then the leadership decided who the captain should be.
‘I am very pleased for him. He is a popular choice. But any one of those guys can on any given day step in and be the captain on the day. If we are going to be rotating players and a Cameron [Wright] or a Grant [Williams] starts, then Beast can be the captain or Philip or Lukhanyo or Lwazi. We are blessed to have that strong leadership group.
‘We’ve got such a strong squad and we mustn’t be scared to rotate players after two or three games. I think you’ll see quite a bit of that, and then the guys must perform.’
The major change to the coaching staff has seen Dick Muir depart Kings Park, with the highly-rated David Williams coming in as the new attack coach. Williams has coached English Premiership sides Bath and London Irish, Japanese team the Kobe Steelers, and was attack coach for the Kings in 2016.
‘He has brought a lot of detail to our plays. He has brought a lot of structure, while also allowing the players to play what they see, but with cues.
‘That is the important thing. These guys will know exactly what the opportunities look like because of the way he trains. He is an expert. We saw some flashes of brilliance [last year], but did not see that consistency or continuity. We created so many linebreaks, but couldn’t finish them. That is what he has spent a lot of time on.
‘The makings are there for a great season.’
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo