19th February 2016
The Melbourne Rebels have unveiled a new leadership group for the 2016 Asteron Life Super Rugby season with Nic Stirzaker named captain at the club’s Season Launch on Friday.
Former Wallabies captain George Gregan announced the 24-year-old scrumhalf as the Rebels new leader in front of more than 700 people at a lunch in Docklands.
Stirzaker will be supported by vice-captain Scott Fuglistaller, along with Sean McMahon, Mike Harris, Tamati Ellison, James Hanson and Jack Debreczeni, in a seven-man leadership group.
Despite being one of the Rebels longest serving players since moving to Melbourne in 2011, the appointment will see Stirzaker become the youngest ever Rebels captain.
“Nic has a maturity beyond his years, with the ability to stay calm in high-pressure situations, adapt to constantly changing scenarios and lead from the front,” Melbourne Rebels Head Coach Tony McGahan said.
“Through the leadership selection process, we’ve been able to establish a group of players that bring different attributes, qualities and experiences.”
With nearly 40 Super Rugby appearances to his name, Stirzaker has firmly entrenched himself as a regular member of the Rebels after initially joining the club as an extended playing squad member.
Stirzaker, captain of the Melbourne Rising who won the 2014 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship (NRC) minor premiership, said he was “honoured” to be named captain.
“It’s an absolute honour and thrill to be named captain of the Melbourne Rebels for 2016,” Stirzaker said.
“I’ve got big shoes to fill, this club has been led by some great captains over the last six years, including Gareth Delve and Scott Higginbotham, so it’s a privilege to follow in their foot steps.”
“While I’ll bring my own style to the role, it’s comforting to know that, along with the support of a very experienced leadership group, we’ve got an entire squad of players at the Rebels who share in the leading the club.”
The leadership group features more than 375 Super Rugby games of experience, including the team’s most experienced player in Ellison with more than 100 games to his name, last year’s co-captain Fuglistaller and McMahon, who captained the Rebel’s in Thursday night’s pre-season victory over Samoa.