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Western Force names 2017 Super Rugby captains

Super Rugby
Saturday, December 17, 2016

PERTH-based Super Rugby franchise the Western Force have announced that Ben McCalman and Heath Tessmann will be the new captains of the club in 2017.

In addition, club legend and former captain Matt Hodgson will play an important mentoring role - allowing the club to lean on his considerable experience to grow their next generation of leaders.

McCalman will take the role of the on-field captain, while Tessmann will be the off-field captain responsible for standards and team culture. The trio have amassed 285 Super Rugby caps between them.

Western Force Head Coach Dave 'Blood' Wessels says that this is a positive announcement for the club and has full faith in both McCalman and Tessmann.

"It's pretty typical of Hodgo's (Matt Hodgson's) selfless nature that he wants to play a leading role in developing the next generation of Force captains while he's still playing - something he perhaps never had the benefit of when he took over.

"He will still play a central role in the leadership of our team, but in 'Dog' (McCalman) and 'Tess' (Tessmann) we have two players that our whole organisation believes in. They represent the 'playing to win' attitude we want to embody."

The move towards a co-captaincy model follows in the footsteps of Super Rugby rivals the Brumbies who successfully used a similar model - with Stephen Moore and Christian Leali'ifano sharing the captaincy last season.

Meanwhile, Sunwolves Super Rugby head coach Filo Tiatia has announced his squad that will contest the 2017 Super Rugby season representing Japanese and Asian rugby.

Of the new signings for the 2017 Super Rugby season is the inclusion of South African back-row Willie Britz but the biggest surprise is former Highlanders half back Fumiaki Tanaka. A notable surprise in the Sunwolves Super Rugby squad announcement is the omission of Akihito Yamada who was the team's star winger in the 2016 season.

Sunwolves 2017 squad

Forwards: Keita Inagaki, Masataka Mikami, Koki Yamamoto, Takeshi Kizu, Takeshi Hino, Shota Horie, Takuma Asahara, Heiichiro Ito, Koo Jiwon, Hitoshi Ono, Kyosuke Kajikawa, Shinya Makabe, Liaki Moli, Willem Britz, Edward Quirk, Uwe Helu, Yoshitaka Tokunaga, Shuhei Matsuhashi, Malgene Ilaua, Yuhimaru Mimura

Backs: Keisuke Uchida, Takahiro Ogawa, Fumiaki Tanaka, Kaito Shigeno, Yuki Yatomi, Harumichi Tatekawa, Hikaru Tamura, Yu Tamura, Hayden Cripps, Teruya Goto, Kenki Fukuoka, Timothy Lafaele, Derek Carpenter, Yasutaka Sasakura, Kotaro Matsushima, Riaan Viljoen








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