Bismarck hands over Sharks captaincy

Date published: April 28 2015

Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis will return from suspension for the Sharks this weekend but will not captain the side, at his own request.

The Sharks travel to Dunedin to face the high-flying Highlanders on Friday with a mountain to climb if they hope to sneak into the play-offs.

Du Plessis is set to make his first appearance since completing his four-week ban for kicking Chiefs number eight Michael Leitch in the head earlier this season.

Marco Wentzel retains the captaincy in the continued absence of injured fly-half Pat Lambie.

"The situation is this, 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," said Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold.

"It’s unbelievably noble of him to have this attitude. Marco Wentzel has done a good job and he will retain the captaincy.”

Gold added he was impressed Du Plessis’s attitude since returning to the side.

"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," said Gold.

"We have been really impressed by Bismarck’s attitude, he’s come into the team, 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.

"Ultimately, he has chosen team over individual and this speaks volumes about the character of the player.

"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."