Stephen Moore was announced as the new captain of Wallabies on Monday. Among a poultice of candidates Moore has been selected, based on his own and the coach’s comments, in no small part due to his strong views on player culture and behaviour. One only needs to run one’s eye over the other candidates to affirm why this choice was absolutely the correct one:
- James Horwill: Captain of Queensland and former captain of the Wallabies during the end of the Robbie Deans era. Simply is not in good enough form to guarantee his place in the starting team and being in the run on team has to be a factor in selection as captain. Also, it can not be forgotten that he presided over the Beale / O’Connor fiascos and under a coach focused on building culture that had to count against him.
- Will Genia: Vice-Captain of Queensland and former captain of the Wallabies. Much like Horwill, is just no in good enough form to guarantee his selection in the team. One excellent performance last week against the Highlanders should not mask what has been a season of much lament for the incumbent half back.
- Michael Hooper: This bloke is a captain of the future so long as he stays healthy. It is striking though that he is just too inexperienced at this stage to be a captaincy candidate. Selecting him as a co vice-captain in league with two very experienced players in Moore and Ashley-Cooper will only expand his leadership experience.
Stephen Moore has not been a captain of a team since he played for Queensland Colts over a decade ago. That said, he has been a constant in leadership groups in both provincial and national teams for some time. He plays the game in the right way, hard and fair, and is as close as you will find to an 80 minute player in the front row.
I salute the appointment of Stephen Moore as captain of the Wallabies and look forward to seeing him lead out Wallabies on Saturday night. More to the point I look forward to a new age of positive cultural influences on the Australian team and a time of less “drama” which I am certain Moore can bring to the table.