Keegan Daniel has been named in the Sharks' starting line-up.
Keegan Daniel has been named in the Sharks' starting line-up.

Daniel back to lead the Sharks

By Thahir Asmal Time of article published Mar 14, 2013

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Durban – Keegan Daniel has been named in the Sharks’ starting line-up for the first time this season and will captain the coastal side this weekend after recovering from the knee injury that forced him to miss the start of the season.

The Springbok forward will play in his accustomed openside flank role in one of three changes to the run-on XV for their Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the table-topping Brumbies in Durban on Saturday.

Daniel relieves Frans Steyn of the captaincy and replaces Jean Deysel, who has been ruled out for a minimum of four weeks due to an ankle injury, while veteran winger Odwa Ndungane has also been selected, along with Charl McLeod.

The two men dropping out of the backline are Lwazi Mvovo and Cobus Reinach after coach John Plumtree suggested earlier this week that there would be a shake-up to his team in a bid to improve their attack.

“He (Daniel) is a naturally fit guy,” Plumtree said after naming his team on Thursday.

“He might find it a bit tough because he hasn’t played in a while but he’ll back himself. Having him back eases a little bit of the pain (from losing Deysel).

“Charl McLeod hasn’t had an opportunity. He’s been really looking forward to having one and I think it’s a good time to re-introduce him. He’ll be looking forward to a good game.

“It’s the same with Odwa Ndungane. He hadn’t started a game yet so we wanted to give him an opportunity at some point, and it’s a big game this week.”

Jacques Botes, initially suspected of cracking his wrist during the 21-12 victory over the Southern Kings last week, has been cleared to play and takes his spot on the bench.

The changes are the first that the Sharks boss has made to the team in three weeks.

“We’ve had some enforced changes and a couple of rotational changes among the backs,” Plumtree said.

“We have a good squad and both those backs deserve a start. It’s up to them to take the opportunity.”

Sharks team

Louis Ludik, Odwa Ndungane, Paul Jordaan, Francois Steyn, JP Pietersen, Patrick Lambie, Charl McLeod, Ryan Kankowski, Keegan Daniel (captain), Marcell Coetzee, Franco van der Merwe, Anton Bresler, Jannie du Plessis, Craig Burden, Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: Kyle Cooper, Wiehahn Herbst, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jacques Botes, Cobus Reinach, Meyer Bosman, Lwazi Mvovo. – Sapa

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