Muller to captain Sharks

It’s time for the old guard to make way. That much was clear when Sharks coach Dick Muir yesterday formally announced that Springbok lock Johann Muller would captain the franchise in the 2008 Super 14 competition.


Muller, who captained the Springboks in last year’s Tri-Nations Test against the All Blacks in Christchurch, takes over from John Smit who now plays his rugby in France and stalwart and experienced captain AJ Venter.


With 49 Super 14 caps to his credit since his debut in 2003, Muller became South Africa’s 52nd Springbok Test captain in 2007.


The 28-year-old Muller was educated at Oakdale Agricultural College in the South Western Districts, and will run out in his next match not only as the Sharks’ appointed captain for the season, but also in his 50th Super match.


Muller played his junior rugby for the Sharks and made his Test debut against Scotland in 2006.


“Johann was a natural choice to lead the team this year,” said Sharks head coach Dick Muir in a Sharks media release.


“He’s got the experience, he’s got the winning mentality and his positive attitude and no-nonsense approach to the game makes him a good choice of leader for us this year,” said Muir.


Over the past two years Muller has also had plenty of captaincy experience in the Super 14 competition, often standing in for John Smit when he was away on Bok duty. “It’s a great honour to be given this opportunity,” said Muller.


“I know I am filling in some very big boots left by John Smit, but I am prepared to tackle it with everything I’ve got.


The most important thing about captaining a side like the Sharks is that we’ve got a great set-up in the team, the players have great cameraderie and we have an incredible management team behind us, which makes my job so much easier.


“I am looking forward to leading the team out this year and we have our sights set on proving that we’ve got what it takes to go all the way.

 

The Sharks management have assembled a really talented bunch of guys, all of them itching to get out onto the park and play,” said Muller.

Muller will captain a side that features a handful of World Cup wining Boks including Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Francois Steyn, Albert van den Berg, Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis and BJ Botha.


The Sharks first Super 14 match is against the Western Force in Durban on February 15.


Sapa – Super14.com   

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