Botha to captain Sharks

2018-02-08 06:00
PHOTO: gallo imagesRuan Botha will captain the Sharks in the upcoming Super Rugby season.

PHOTO: gallo imagesRuan Botha will captain the Sharks in the upcoming Super Rugby season.

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THE Sharks’ new Super Rugby captain Ruan Botha says he is honoured to lead the Durbanites in the competition and is looking forward to the new challenge.

The 26-year-old lock was revealed as the captain of the Sharks’ Super Rugby team yesterday, when the Durbanites’ coach, Robert du Preez, named his 45-man squad for the competition.

Botha was selected to head the side after he did an impressive job leading the Durban franchise to the Currie Cup final last season. “I thought Ruan did a sterling job in the Currie Cup, leading us to the final. He has grown as a captain and has got the full support from the management and also the players,” said Du Preez.

Botha said he while the captaincy is a massive responsibility, he will be leading the team by example.

“There are going to be up and downs, that’s part of the game, but I’m just looking forward to every opportunity I get.

“We have got a great team and great competition inside the squad so it is going to be a new challenge that I am looking forward to,” he said.

The Sharks’ 45-man squad is made up of 25 forwards and 20 backs, and there are five players who are uncapped in Super Rugby. They are Courtney Winnaar, Gideon Koegelenberg, Grant Williams, Kerron van Vuuren and Khuta Mchunu.

There are also 12 players capped at Springbok level and a host of players who have represented the junior Boks or featured in SA “A” matches.

The squad includes new signings Robert du Preez Jnr, Makazole Mapimpi and Leolin Zas.

“It was very hard to leave any guys out, so we have gone with the full squad of 45. These are guys who could potentially play in Super Rugby, as normally in the competition you would use 38 to 40 players in a season,” said Du Preez.

The Sharks play their first match in the Super Rugby against the Lions in Johannesburg on February 17.

— SITHEMBISO DINDI.

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