It will be good to play at home for the first time in a while
New Sharks captain Jean Deysel is relishing the challenge of leading the new-look team in the 2012 Currie Cup campaign.
Deysel got his tenure off to a perfect start when he led his young side to a narrow 25-23 victory over Western Province at the weekend.
"Captaining the side is a bit of a challenge, as it is a new role for me," Deysel said, adding that he will rely on other senior players like Jacques Botes and Steven Sykes to help out.
"It's also a personal challenge, but one I'm looking forward to - I'm always looking for new challenges in life.
"It's a real honour for me to be captain of a franchise that I think must be the best in the world, it's amazing and I'm very happy, stoked!"
Leading a side that is minus 14 frontline players - 10 on Springbok duty, two injured and another two now playing abroad - presents its own challenges.
However, Deysel feels there is a "good mix" in the team.
"There are some quality players in this side and some quality youngsters," he said, adding: "I'm getting good support from the senior players. Hats off to the youngsters who put their hands up.
"I don't see the captaincy as difficult, but rather as a challenge.
"Everyone who goes onto the field wants to give his best, and I always tell the guys that I will never judge anyone on mistakes, but I will on a lack of effort. If you give 100 percent, I can't judge you if you're trying and everyone has bought into that philosophy."
* Meanwhile Sharks coach John Plumtree was happy to report that there were no major injury concerns.
"We're all right actually," Plumtree said, adding: "Paul Jordaan [hamstring] is fine, we'll do a bit of work with him this week, but it's nothing too serious."
With The Sharks back at home this week, they will be a lot more settled as they prepare for the game against the defending champion Golden Lions, who smashed the Free State Cheetahs 43-20 at the weekend and will be looking to maintain the same kind of form that saw them winning the tournament last year.
"It will be good to play at home for the first time in a while, but the Lions are going to be tough, they haven't lost a lot of players," explained Plumtree.
"They are fortunate in that they have consistency in selection, certainly they will be one of the favourites to win this trophy, so it will be a big task for us."