Wentzel to retain captaincy

Bismarck du Plessis has requested that he not be selected as captain for the Sharks' match against the Highlanders on Friday.

Du Plessis is set to make his first appearance since completing his four-week ban for kicking out at the Chiefs' Maichael Leitch earlier this season.

Marco Wentzel served as captain in his absence, leading the Sharks in their defeat to the Lions a fortnight ago.

Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold says he's been impressed with Du Plessis's attitude since returning to the side, and has explained his decision to retain Wentzel as captain.

'Bismarck has shown incredible humility about his personal situation over the past month and he feels that he just wants to get back into the Sharks team and make as big an impact as he can,' says Gold. 'He wants to prove his worth and play well for the Sharks again. Relinquishing the captaincy is a move that has been driven by him, a commendable gesture to ensure continuity, and an act that has drawn great admiration from the coaching staff as well as players around him.

'He’s positive and eager to contribute to the success of the team and turning our fortunes around. He is committed to doing everything he can to make a constructive difference. Marco Wentzel has done a good job and he will retain the captaincy.'

Gold added that Du Plessis will remain a leader within the group, although it is unsure when he might regain the captaincy duties.

'He is an outstanding player and his influence on the field can never be underestimated. He is a leader and will only ever be seen as one in the Sharks set-up.

'As far as I’m concerned, what’s happened has happened, he’s paid the price and we must move on from the incident now.

'We cannot forget the massive contribution he has made to Sharks rugby and will continue to make going forward.'

Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix