Head coach Chris Hickey has officially named flank Phil Waugh as the Waratahs’ captain for the 2009 Super 14 season.
Rugby 365 reports that Waugh, who took over the captaincy from Chris Whitaker in 2007, skippered his first match for the Waratahs back in 2001 and last year entered the all-time top 10 list for most appearances as ‘Tahs captain.
“It’s probably seen as a bit of a formality to a lot of people to announce Phil Waugh as the Waratahs captain for 2009, but I think it’s really important to do so,” said Hickey.
“Phil is a consummate professional both on and off the field and garners a huge amount of respect from his peers and opponents as captain when he has performed the role for the Waratahs and also for the Wallabies.
“We have a fantastic leadership group at the Waratahs and any one of four or five players could easily step into the captain’s shoes, but Phil has a special quality as a leader, so there’s no hesitation in handing him the captaincy once again.”
Waugh captained the Waratahs for the first time in just his third year of provincial Rugby in 2001. Since then he has skippered the ‘Tahs on 23 occasions, 21 of those in Super 12 and Super 14 competition.
In 2008 Waugh surpassed Michael Brial to move into third on the list of most Super Rugby caps as captain of the Waratahs, and also moved into third in terms of his winning record as a Waratahs Super Rugby captain.
Should Waugh – who has 101 Waratahs caps to his name since 1999 – remain injury free in 2009, he will finish the season sitting second behind Chris Whitaker on both the all-time and Super Rugby lists for the most matches as Waratah captain.
Waugh’s first appearance as captain in 2009 will come on Thursday, against the Brumbies in the Waratahs’ final pre-season trial.
Waratahs Super Rugby captains – best records:
Chris Whitaker (2003-06): Played 40, Won 62.5 percent
Matt Burke (2001-03): Played 30, Won 60 percent
Phil Waugh (2001-08): Played 21, Won 57.14 percent
Michael Brial (1998-99): Played 18, Won 55.6 percent
Waratahs – most appearances as captain: Chris Whitaker: 40; Matt Burke: 32; Tim Gavin: 30; Phil Kearns: 28; Nick Farr-Jones: 27; Syd Malcolm: 26; Johnnie Wallace: 24; Phil Waugh: 23; Michael Brial: 20; Fred Wood: 19.Tweet