The hooker had finished serving a four-game Super Rugby suspension after kicking a Chiefs player, in a home game in Durban. The 30-year-old is set to return to the side in their first match on tour against the Highlanders, at Forsyth Barr Stadium, in Dunedin, on Friday.
This season the Sharks have been plagued by injuries and suspensions, and in recent matches Marco Wentzel took over the leadership role.
The Sharks said it was the own noble request by Du Plessis to not be selected as captain upon his return.
While there may be other reasons for Du Plessis stepping down, Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold instead said it was a humble move by the player.
“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 Cell C Sharks team and make as big an impact as he can,” said Gold.
“It’s unbelievably noble of him to have this attitude. Marco Wentzel has done a good job and he will retain the captaincy.”
Since returning to training from his suspension, Du Plessis had demonstrated a new commitment to the game according to the coach.
“We have 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,” said Gold.
“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 did not want to comment further on the actions of Du Plessis which led to his enforced-break.
“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 cannot forget the massive contribution he has made to Sharks Rugby and will continue to make going forward.”
Original source: Bismarck quits as Sharks captain