Francois Steyn has been handed the captaincy for the Sharks opening warm-up game against the Leopards in Pietermaritzburg on Friday night.
The Sharks have had a fairly quiet build-up to the season and are only playing two pre-season fixtures before they head into their Super Rugby opener against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on February 23.
The centre has been selected by coach John Plumtree because he is one of the more experienced players in the side and it will be a good experience in a leadership role for him.
"Frans Steyn is going to captain the team because Keegan is going to play off the bench in our warm-up game this Friday.
"I saw him as good back up to Keegan and it’s an opportunity for him to grow his leadership. I’ve noticed a big difference in him in terms of his personality and character since he’s come back from France. The players have a lot of respect for him as an individual and as a player," Plumtree told the Sharks website.
"He’s a very competitive person, he doesn’t like to come second in anything he does and he’s probably going to be a regular starter," added the coach.
The Sharks have selected a strong side for Fridays fixture with no less than 14 player in the squad that were involved in the Super Rugby final last season.
The return of Tendai Mtawarira will be a significant boost for the Sharks and they will be hoping that he can go through 2013 with as fewer injury worries as possible.
The conundrum that Plumtree faces is in the midfield, and all of the potential centres are going to want to impress on Friday and try and stake a claim for what might only be the number 13 jersey.
Franco van der Merwe gets his first run in a Sharks jersey, next to the exciting Pieter-Steph Du Toit in the second row, and will add serious value for the Sharks at line-out time.
The bench is laden with experience and Plumtree will be grateful for the depth that he has in his squad because of the pressures of the long Super Rugby season.
The Sharks: 1 Allan Dell, 2 Kyle Cooper, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 4 Pieter-Steph Du Toit, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 6 Jacques Botes, 7 Jean Deysel, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 9 Charl McLeod, 10 Patrick Lambie, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 12 Fracois Steyn (Captain), 13 Tim Whitehead, 14 Odwa Ngungane, 15 Riaan Viljoen
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Anton Bresler, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Meyer Bosman, 23 Paul Jordaan, 24 Louis Ludik
Date: Friday, Febraury 8
Venue: Woodburn Stadium, Pietermaritzburg
Referee: Stuart Berry
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.