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Sayonara, Daniel-san

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 28 Mar 2014 at 10:04
Tagged with : , , , ,

The Cell C Sharks have confirmed that former captain Keegan Daniel will leave Durban at the conclusion of this year’s Super Rugby competition to join Japanese club Kubota on a two-year deal.

Daniel, who made his senior debut for the team 8 years ago, has been a dedicated and unquestionably loyal servant of Sharks rugby for a decade (he joined the Academy in 2004) and capped off a fine career by raising the Currie Cup trophy as captain in 2013. He has played many roles during his tenure, regularly appearing in all three back-row positions as a starting option, as well as delivering a plethora of game-changing cameo roles when picked as an impact substitute. Perhaps not the man most naturally suited to the captaincy, Daniel nevertheless stood up when asked and made a great fist of the leadership challenge. In fact, as captain, the 2013 Super Rugby campaign was the only one in which Daniel did not manage to lead his team to the final.

2014 has not started particularly well for the 29-year-old, with injury and loss of the captaincy relegating him to a bit part so far this season. Daniel will feature off the bench against the Waratahs this weekend in what will be only his second game (and first Super Rugby cap) of the season, but with injury continuing to play a major role this season, it’s to be expected that Daniel will enjoy opportunities to contribute further to the team he has served with distinction for so long, before embracing his new challenge later in the year.

Speaking about the departure, Sharks CEO John Smit, who is a good friend of the player’s, said “We offered Keegan a long-term contract to stay in Durban, but he has decided that it was time in his career for a new challenge. We respect his decision and thank him for ten years of dedication and loyalty. We wish him the very best for this new and exciting chapter in his life.”

Daniel adds: “I am eternally grateful to The Sharks for what they have done for my career. I have been at the union for ten years, experienced many highs, and have had the opportunity to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and have built lasting friendships along the way. It is never an easy decision to make when the time comes to move on and ply your trade elsewhere.

“I am sad to leave a place that I have called home and will always respect what The Sharks jersey stands for. It was an honour to captain the team for a couple of seasons and I have enjoyed every single moment of my time here.

“I look forward to contributing to the team’s aspirations during the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament before I embark on a new journey that seeks to embrace a new culture and style of rugby.”

Good luck Keegan. Your deeds of valour will not be forgotten.


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