The Sharks on Monday announced that the Springbok hooker will return to action this weekend but he will not be named captain, upon the player’s own request.
Director of Rugby Gary Gold told the Sharks’ official website: “The situation is this: Bismarck has shown incredible humility about his personal situation over the past month and he feels that he just wants to get back into the Sharks team and make as big an impact as he can.
Gold said he was impressed with Du Plessis’s attitude since returning to the side.
“He’s positive and eager to contribute to the success of the team and turning our fortunes around. He’s committed to doing everything he can to make a constructive difference.
“We’ve been really impressed by Bismarck’s attitude, he’s come into the team, he wants to prove his worth and play well for the Sharks again.
“Relinquishing the captaincy is a move that has been driven by him, a commendable gesture to ensure continuity, and an act that has drawn great admiration from the coaching staff as well as players around him.
“Ultimately, he has chosen team over individual and this speaks volumes about the character of the player.”
Gold added that with Du Plessis wanting to play well, the coaching staff will back his selection to give him that opportunity.
“He’s an outstanding player and his influence on the field can never be underestimated. He’s a leader and will only ever be seen as one in the Sharks set-up.
“As far as I’m concerned, what’s happened has happened, he’s paid the price and we must move on from the incident now.
“We can not forget the massive contribution he has made to Sharks Rugby and will continue to make going forward.”
Utility back Frans Steyn, who is banned for five weeks for a tip tackle, will be able to return the following week against the Hurricanes, while flank Jean Deysel will only be eligible to play when the Sharks return from their Australasian tour and host the Rebels in Durban on May 29.