Will Skelton looking to make captaincy ‘my own’

Looking to turn their disappointing form around, the Wallabies unveiled another new captain ahead of the Rugby World Cup with towering lock Will Skelton set to lead the team into battle.

Eddie Jones had already appointed four different captains during the year, but the coach has decided to go in another direction ahead of the biggest tournament in rugby.

There was no room for veterans Michael Hooper and Allan Alaalatoa in the 33-man squad due to injury, while previous skippers James Slipper and Tate McDermott were overlooked for the role.

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La Rochelle lock Will Skelton is in line to become the 87th Wallabies skipper when the team take the field in France, while halfback McDermott will be ready if called upon as the vice-captain.

“I’ve leaned on the other boys a lot,” Skelton told reporters earlier this week. “Guys like (James) Slips, (Nic) Whitey, Andrew Kellaway, they’ve helped me through this week.

“Still a bit awkward when I’m in the huddle and the boys are looking at me for that last say, it’s something I’m not used to

“I want to really grow into this role and make it my own.”

This World Cup squad is the dawn of a new era for Australian rugby.

More than 75 per cent of the squad have been picked in a World Cup team for the first time, with Jones making some bold calls ahead of a big four-year cycle for Australian rugby.

But there are a number of emerging leaders within this squad, including the likes of McDermott and former Junior Wallabies skipper Fraser McReight, who Skelton can turn to both on and off the field.

“I think it’ll be the preparation during the week for me. Getting to know the refs and then also speaking to the other boys, Eddie as well, what the gameplan is that week,” Skelton added.

“On the field I’ll be looking to the leaders out there to help me make those decisions, and they’re not always going to be perfect but it’s how we adapt to that.

“I’ve not done this before so I’ll be leaning on them a lot.

“We’re pretty open and transparent in this group. I’m not gonna have all the answers as well.

“We’ll be growing together and those decisions will be a team thing, whatever is best for the team.”

Source link: https://www.rugbypass.com/news/wallaby-will-skelton-looking-to-make-captaincy-my-own/




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