Sharks loose forward Tera Mtembu has been ruled out of his team's Currie Cup campaign due to a knee injury.
The Durban-based outfit's assistant coach Sean Everitt revealed that Mtembu, who captained the side during last season's tournament, is set to undergo surgery.
Everitt said the Sharks are "stacked with capable players" to take over the captaincy, but Mtembu will be missed.
"Tera though is out for the year due to reconstructive surgery on his knee," he told Times Live.
"With his absence we will have to announce a new captain, but that is something that will happen in a couple of weeks."
The Sharks have lost several stalwarts to the Springboks for the Rugby Championship and will also be without them during the upcoming Rugby World Cup.
Despite the absence of numerous first-choice players, Everitt believes the Currie Cup's importance must not be underestimated.
"The Currie Cup is one of the toughest tournaments in the world," he said.
"We often talk about Super Rugby, but this one's about local talent going up against each other as they press for higher honours.
"It is also for the juniors to see if they can make the step up to Super Rugby."